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Full text of "The corn and cattle producing districts of France"

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

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http://archive.org/details/corncattleproducOOrich 



THE 



Wm AND CATTLE PRODUCINGl 



DISTRICTS OF FRANCE. 



BY 



GEORGE GIBSON RICHARDSON, 

FOKEIGN COEEESPONDING MEMBEE AND GOLD-MEDALLIST OF 

THE SOCIETE CENTEALE d'AGEICULTUEE DE FEANCE, 

MEMBEE OP THE SOCIETE DES AGEICULTEURS . 



ILL US TEA TUB WITH UNGRAriNGS ON WOOD, AND A MAF 
OF THE FRENCH FROVINCES. 



3<ff6 



\ 6^'6- 



Cassell Petteh & Galpin: 

LONDON, PARIS S; NEW YORK. 



[all RIGHTS RESERVED.] 






d^(h 



MONS. LEONCE DE LAYEEGNE, 

WHOSE WRITINGS HAVE DONE SO MUCH TO 

MAKE KNOWN TO HIS COUNTRYMEN THE AGRICULTURE OF ENGLAND, 

AND HAVE INFLUENCED SO GREATLY 

THE ADVANCEMENT OF AGRICULTURE IN FRANCE, 

THIS ATTEMPT TO PLACE BEFORE ENGLISHMEN THE PRESENT POSITION 

OF CORN AND CATTLE FARMING IN FRANCE IS 

WITH GREAT RESPECT AND AFFECTION, 
BY 

THE AUTHOR. 



71, Boulevard de la E-eine, Yersailles, 

October 2^tK 1877. 



To Mons. Geo. Gibson Eichardson. 

Sir, 

I have read the proof sheets of yoiu* book on Farming in 
France, and with a complete knowledge of its contents (en pleine 
connaissance de cause), I accept heartily (avec empressement) the 
dedication of it that you offer to me. 

As the state of my health no longer allows me to work, I 
watch with the warmest sympathy the labours of those who are 
willing to take my place. 

You have already rendered important services to French 
agiicidture, and we shall be deeply grateful for this fresh en- 
couragement. 

Pray receive, with my thanks, the assurance of my affectionate 

consideration. 

LEONCE DE LAYERGNE. 



PREFACE. 



This work upon tlie corn and cattle districts of Erance 
is not written with, a personal knowledge of all tlie 
information offered; such knowledge, indeed, it would 
not be possible for one person to attain ; it is really a 
compilation from the best authorities, the writer having 
just so much acquaintance with the country as to seem 
to justify the attempt he is making to put before the 
English public fuller information on the state of farming 
in France than is at present accessible to it, and having 
also the advantage of knowing most of the leading 
writers on Agriculture in France. 

The supply of authentic information is abundant, 
from the full statistics published by the Government, 
to the weekly, monthly, and yearly reports of the 
numerous agricultural societies through the country. 

The most important society is the Societe Centrale, 
consisting of fifty -two members chosen from the leading 
men of science who have applied their knowledge to 
agriculture, and of those who have adapted this scien- 
tific knowledge practically. Another society, that of 
the Agriculteurs de France, resembles more our Eoyal 
Agricultural, and has 3,000 members. Every department 
has its own society ; most, if not all, have smaller ones 



VI PREFACE. 

for each district ; they all meet, discuss, and publish ; 
they did so a hundred years ago, and probably are still 
open to the criticism passed upon them by Arthur 
Young : '' They meet, they talk, they oJBTer prizes, they 
publish nonsense, but as the people cannot read, no great 
harm is done \ people can see, however, and if a farm 
were cultivated in a manner worthy of imitation they 
might learn." Things have certainly improved since 
Young's time ; less nonsense is published, perhaps 
because more people can read and criticise ; model farms 
exist in every district, and in the end empirical is largely 
replaced by reasonable practice. 

In addition to the publications of these numerous 
societies there are plenty of farming papers ; the two 
most important are published weekly ; one, the " Joui'nal 
de r Agriculture," is edited by M. Barral, permanent 
secretary of the Societe Centrale, who has established 
a high reputation in the application of science to manu- 
factures and agriculture ; the other, the " Journal de 
r Agriculture Pratique," is edited by M. Lecouteux, 
secretary of the Societe des Agriculteurs. Articles 
are written for these papers by the most competent men 
in France, and as they are signed, readers always know 
whose statements and opinions are offered for their 
consideration. 

Besides these papers by individuals there are reports 
on stock and farming drawn up by committees, and 
discussed and adopted by the societies ; some single 
farms have, indeed, large volumes devoted to them ; 
separate manuals are published on the best methods of 



PREFACE. VU 

rearing the different kinds of stock, and of growing the 
various sorts of produce, the writers selected being those 
who know most about the subject ; some large publish- 
ing houses in Paris find their chief business in the sale 
of works on farming. There is, indeed, no lack of 
materials for a good and instructive work on French 
farming; the difiiculty is to use them judiciously, the 
temptation very strong to use them too copiously. The 
writer, or compiler, has done his best; he is conscious 
that he has tried to select from these authorities that 
which seemed to be most interesting to Englishmen, 
and to select it fairly ; his great fear is that his work 
may stand in the way of a similar work being under- 
taken by some one more able to do it justice ; he hopes 
it may have a contrary effect, and that it may stimulate 
a desire to know more about farming in France, and 
that a more capable hand may come forward and satisfy 
the desire which this work may only excite. 

Eeports of committees, articles by competent writers, 
must be relied upon as giving trustworthy information ; 
Grovernment statistics are not to be accepted so un- 
reservedly; at least, they are much criticised. Of the 
elaborate report of 1862, M. Barral says: "It is more 
full of errors than any statistics that ever were published, 
as has been shown by those who take an interest in the 
subject, so that it is seldom referred to, and it is con- 
sidered a disgrace to French publications. M. Leonce 
de Lavergne said this long before we did." Since 1862, 
the returns may have been partially incorrect, but not 
intentionally false. A report adopted by the Societe 



Vlll PREFACE. 

Centrale in April, 1877, says, among other things re- 
lating to this question : " Do the agricultural statistics 
offer that guarantee of truth and sincerity necessary to 
give them the value they ought to have ? Clearly not. 
We all know how the returns are got up ; the Mayors 
of the 40,000 communes receive the papers to be filled 
up ; the Mayor consults two or three neighbours, and 
they estimate in a chance sort of way the number of 
acres in cultivation ; the answers to the other questions 
are purely guesswork." A more perfect system is pro- 
posed, but in the meantime the statistics so prepared 
are all we have to look to \ that they are imperfect 
must be clear to all who have had occasion to study 
them; it cannot be supposed that in theBouches du Rhone 
there should have been 2,686 head of cattle in 1872, 
and 11,463 in 1873; or that the numbers in Garonne 
should have doubled between one year and another ; 
or that the sheep in Dordogne should increase from 
453,241 in 1872 to 761,851 in 1873. In spite of 
these discrepancies, which are evidently errors, that 
can be corrected by reference to previous reports, the 
returns have an absolute value ; and though Finisterre 
may not have precisely 404,140 head of horned stock, 
nor Vaucluse exactly 1,723, we may take it as certain 
that Finisterre has the largest number of cattle of any 
department, and Yaucluse the smallest, and that the 
proportions are pretty much what the returns in- 
dicate. 

The report adopted by the Societe Centrale, urging 
that a more exact census should be taken, seems to 



PREFACE. . . IX 

throw too much discredit upon the present returns ; it 
is true they are only estimates, but they are made by 
competent judges. The Mayor must know every field 
and every farmer in his commune, and the two or three 
neighbours he would consult would certainly be those 
whose opinion is worth having ; and, though liable to 
error, and not based on precise information, they can be 
fairly depended upon as far as they go ; if they show 
an increase or a decrease in the growth of any corn, or 
in the existence of any kind of stock, it may be accepted 
as true that some such increase or decrease has taken 
place ; so far they may be trusted, but no farther. No 
French writer would say of them what Mr. Griffon says 
of the English returns for 1876 : " That there is no 
doubt that the total acreage of all the various crops in 
the country, and the total numbers of the various kinds 
of live stock, are what they are stated to be in these 
tables; the percentage of wrong returns, or of wrong 
estimates in the absence of returns, being quite insig- 
nificant;" but they might concede that they were 
" substantially accurate on most essential points." 

There is no work on French farming in English, 
except the celebrated one of Arthur Young, and that is 
wholly out of date. Written at the end of last century, 
it contains the best — indeed, the only — account of 
French agriculture of the period, and it is of far more 
interest to Frenchmen than to Englishmen ; it is con- 
tinually referred to. It was translated into French in 
1860, with an introduction by M. de Lavergne, who 
says of the work : "" We do not possess in our language 



X PREFACE. 

any document so complete of the state of our country 
in 1789." 

In Frencli, tlie best work is that of M. Leonce de 
Lavergne, " The Eural Economy of France/' which, 
in the limits of a small volume of 500 pages, gives a 
perfect description of every part of his country, and not 
only of its agriculture, but of its wealth and physical 
appearance, with something also of its history. More 
than a fourth of it is taken up with an account of the 
condition of the country before, during, and since the 
great Revolution — the distribution of property, the 
incidence of taxation, and the advance of internal com- 
munication. Any reader of that book, having some 
acquaintance with the country, would obtain a very 
complete knowledge of France. Then why not simply 
translate the work without taking the trouble to compile 
a new one? For the simple reason that it is untrans- 
latable. There are little touches, a line, a suggestion, 
which are pictures in themselves to a Frenchman, but 
which would have no meaning for a stranger. It is 
a literary gem after the manner of a picture by 
Meissonier, and besides, it was written between 1853 
and 1860, the last edition being in 1865 ; and it 
would be a poor compliment to M. de Lavergne and 
such men, to suppose that a description of French 
farming at those dates would be a true representa- 
tion of what it is now. 

M. de Lavergne's work suggested the present 
one ; there was a fascination in reading and re-reading 
it, which excited the desire to impart to others the 



PREFACE. XI 

knowledge it contained. The form had to be different, 
details had to be obtained which would interest English 
readers, and would have to be fully explained, but which, 
in a work for French readers, were not necessary ; and 
very much of French farming, such as wine -growing, silk- 
worm-rearing, oil-making, &c., would have no attraction 
for us. This work is therefore limited in its farming 
part to a description of the cultivation of corn and the 
rearing of cattle, the staple of our own farming busi- 
ness ; and, if properly described, the comparison of the 
French and English systems should be interesting, and 
may be useful. 

An endeavour has also been made to give some idea 
of the characteristics of each province, farming opera- 
tions being necessarily dictated by the nature of the 
soil and its formation ; such descriptions will draw the 
attention for a moment from the consideration of corn 
and cattle only, and make the latter better understood. 
An object may be looked at so steadily that in the end 
it is not seen at all. 

There is another motive for engaging in this work, 
and that is a desire to make known to English people 
more of one side of French life which has so many 
excellencies, and which, perhaps, has hardly had justice 
enough allotted to it by us. We judge French people 
too much by those of them about whom we hear most — 
politicians and literary men ; but " political juntos, and 
the literary circles of a capital, do not make a people." 
The writer has a sincere liking for the French, which 
should assist him in his work; as it rarely happens that 



Xll PREFACE. 

a man succeeds in gaining any true knowledge of a 
country towards which he is not well disposed. There 
must certainly be diversity of opinion upon some of the 
statements to be found in this work ; indeed, it is to be 
hoped there will be : as one of our great poets said 
lately, "It is not the difference I object to, it is the 
^difference." People will look upon the same objects 
and come to very different conclusions. Two young 
Hollanders, travelling to the Court of France in 1656, 
" to learn hon ton and see the world," thus describe the 
country between Montreuil and Abbeville : " Passed 
through a fine country, sometimes broken into slopes 
and hillocks, sometimes consisting of valleys and plains, 
sometimes in plantations and woods ; so that we may 
say with truth, and without disparaging other countries, 
that Prance is a terrestrial Paradise." The apology to 
other countries shows that these two young gentlemen 
were not wanting in natural politeness. Now, Arthur 
Young, going over the same ground in 17S7, says-. 
" Montreuil to Abbeville, unpleasant, nearly flat ; and 
though there are many and great woods, yet they are 
uninteresting." 

There are no references in the margin of this book : 
a list of the works consulted is given at the end ; and 
any quotations in the body of the work, not other^\^[se 
specified, are from Arthur Young. 



CONTENTS. 



Introduction— 

Population, Area in Acres 
Statistics of Cultivation, Stock, &c 
Aspect of the Country- 
Territorial Divisions 
Weights and Measures 
Population 
Marriages ... 
Condition of the Clergy- 
Division of Estates 
Value of Land 
Charges on Land 
Population 

Condition of the People in 
Loss by Wars 
Poor Eelief 
Fairs 

Special Labour 
Education 
Climate 
Corn 

Kitchen Gardens 
Flowers 
Implements 
Enclosures 
Horses 
Cattle 
Sheep 

Noxious Insects 
Wild Boars 
Game 
Wolves 



the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 



2 

ib. 

4 

6 

9 

12 

19 

23 

25 

42 

43 

ih. 

44 

46 

48 

52 

53 

54 

58 

60 

64 

68 

ih. 

72 

74 

89 

103 

126 

130 

133 

139 



XIV 



CONTENTS. 



PAGE 

Normandy ... ... 150 

IBrittant ... 189 

Anjou, Maine, and Toueaine 223 

PoiTou 243 

Berri and Sologne 271 

Marche and Limousin ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 301 

Bourbonnais and Nivernais ... ... ... ... ... ... 329 

Gatinais and Beauce ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 355 

Ile de France and Brie 387 

Tranche Comte 421 

Champagne ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 441 

Artois, Picardt, and Pats de Caux ... ... ... ... ... 457 

Flanders ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 481 

Appendix— 

Census of 1877 521 

Increase of Wealth in France ... ... ... ... ... ... i6. 

Agricultural Wealth, from Note of Mons. Leonce de Lavergne . . . 522 

Authorities Consulted 523 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Salers Ox ... 

Pyrenean Sheep Dogs 

Old Eambouillet Merino Sheep 
Modern ditto ditto 

Silky- WooLLED Merino, Mauchamp Breed 
Improved Merino prom: Aisne 

Wild Boas at Bay 

Wolf Carrying off a Sheep ... 

Normandy Bull ... 

Norman Cow, Cotentin Breed 

Anglo-Norman Carriage Horse 

Type of Peecheron Horse 

Percheron Horses, Posters 

Brittany Bull 

Chateau de Chenonceaux 

Parthenay Ox ... .. 

Parthenay Oxen at Work , 

PoiTOu Sheep 

Poitou Hounds ... 

PoiTOu Jackass Sire 

Berri Sheep, Leicester Cross 

Berrichon-Crevant Sheep 

Charmoise Sheep 

Pigs Feeding on Acorns, in Marche 

P£rigord Pig 

NiVERNAIS Ox 

NivERNAis Fat Cow 

Charolais Draught Ox 

Flock of Sheep in Brie 

Brie Sheep Dogs 





PAGE 




90 




112 


. face 


115 




ih. 




115 


. face 


117 




131 




148 




158 


. face 


158 




176 




181 




188 




208 




227 




255 


. face 


256 




261 


. face 


262 


5> 


269 




294 




295 




297 


. face 


312 




327 




340 


. face 


344 


;? 


3t7 / 


• 5J 


414 


J> 


416 



THE CORK AlfD CATTLE PRODUCI¥G 
DISTRICTS OF FRAKCE. 



INTEODUCTIOK 

" To know our own country well we must see something of 
others." 

" There is no country from which we may not glean something ; 
nor any people whose rules and experience, when properly combined 
with what we already possess, may not prove a valuable addition to 
the common stock of knowledge." 

"The candid reader will not expect that minute analysis of common 
practice which a man is enabled to give who resides some months or 
years confined to one spot; twenty men employed during twenty 
years would not efiect it ; and supposing it done, not one thousandth 
part of their labours would be worth perusal." 

" To investigate such questions fully would demand dissertations 
expressly written on every subject that arises, which would be 
inconsistent with the brevity necessary ; I attempt no more than to 
arrange the facts procured." 

" If some future traveller should examine France with the same 
attention I have done, he will probably find, under a free govern- 
ment, all these proportions (of produce in England and France) 
greatly changed; and unless the English Government be more 
vigilant and intelligent than it hath hitherto been, France will be 
able to boast as great a superiority as England does at present." — 
Arthur Young. 
B 





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introduction: 6 

" I have now made the tour of the French provinces, and I 
shall in general observe that I think the kingdom is superior to 
England in the circumstance of soil. The proportion of poor land in 
England to the total of the kingdom is greater than the similar 
proportion in France; nor have they anywhere such tracts of 
wretched blowing sand as are to be met with in Norfolk and Suffolk. 
Their heaths, moors, and wastes not moimtainous, what they term 
* lande^ and which are so frequent in Bretagne, Anjou, Maine, and 
Guienne, are infinitely better than our northern moors \ and the 
mountains of Scotland and Wales cannot be compared, in point of 
soil, with those of the Pyrenees, Auvergne, Dauphine, Provence, and 
Languedoc. Another advantage, almost inestimable, is • that their 
tenacious clays do not take the character of clays, which in most 
parts of England are so stubborn and harsh, that the expense of 
culture is almost equal to a moderate produce. Such clays as I have 
seen in Sussex I never met with in France. The smallness of the 
quantity of rank clay in that kingdom is indeed surprising. Through- 
out the whole kingdom there is hardly any soil bad enough to 
demand rye \ all, generally speaking, is sufficiently good for wheat." 
— Young. ' / 

"This vast territory, which reaches from the Alps to the Pyrenees, 
from the ]\Iediterranean to the North Sea, this mixture of plains, 
hill-slopes, and mountains, opened up in every direction by four great 
streams, watered by hundreds of rivers and thousands of rivulets, 
like veins in the human body ; those immense tracts of grass-land of 
the west coast, those noble old forests of the east district, those green 
pastures of the centre, those rich vineyards of Burgundy and Lan- 
gTiedoc, those olive and orange groves of Provence, those golden 
harvests, waving on all sides, which bear the largest crop of corn in 
the world, that union under the same laws of an infinite variety of 
climates and of people, this epitome of the Low Countries and Spain, 
of England and Switzerland, of Germany and Italy, this bright 
collection of contrarieties, is our lovely, our dear France." — Lavergne. 



B 



4 INTRODUCTION, 



ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY. 

France fully justifies any enthusiasm her children 
may feel for her. She is the only country in the 
world which contains within herseK everything that 
can be wanted to make life pleasant ; if every other 
were to disappear, France would miss nothing in the 
way of necessaries — or CA^en of luxuries; her own 
soil and climate would supply all. 

The pastures of Flanders, Normandy, and La Vendee, 
support herds of cattle, giving unsurpassed meat and 
dairy produce ; the centre has any amount of mutton 
and wool ; no wheat yields finer flour than that of 
France. Fruits of all good kinds, from the oranges of 
hot climates to the apples and strawberries of cold ones ; 
vegetables of the most delicate flavour ; wines, from 
those coarse but wholesome ones at lOd. per gallon, to 
those whose price is as much per ghiss ; oils for the 
table from olives, for household purposes from walnuts, 
rape, and poppy ; sugar, to the double of her present 
consumption ; salt, from abundant brine -springs and 
from evaporation ; flowers in abundance at all seasons, 
for ornament and for perfumes ; flax and hemp for the 
useful requirements of the country, silk for the orna- 
mental ; clay for earthenware ; the finest stone for 
building ; coal and iron in sufficiency ; timber, either in 
existence or capable of being grown ; mineral springs of 
every variety, both hot and cold ; all these France has, 
or can have, within her borders. She is self-contained, 
and could be self-supporting, and, in judging her opinions 



ASPECT OF THE COUNTRY, 

as to free trade and commerce, lier position in this 
respect must be considered, and slie must not be 
measured by the standard we set up — we, who are 
dependent upon the world at large for much that is 
necessary to existence, and for so very many of those 
productions that make life beautif al. 



The total area of France is reckoned 
132,000,000 acres, and is thus occupied 



to be about ^^ea of 

France. 







Acres. 


Arable Land 


... 


.. 65,750,000 


"Woods and Forests 


... 


.. 21,000,000 


Mountains, Marshes, Bogs, Bf 


irren Land 


.. 11,000,000 


Grass 

Yineyards 





.. 18,500,000 
.. 6,500,000 


Roads, Streets, Open Plots 


... 


.. 2,755,000 


Orchards and Gardens 


... ... 


.. 1,500,000 


Chestnuts 


... ... . 


.. 1,500,000 


Kivers, Lakes, Watercourses 


... ... 


... 1,100,000 


Buildings in Towns 


... 


600,000 


Meres and Pools 


... ... 


443,000 


Other land unclassed 


... .-. • 


400,000 


Olive, Almond, and Mulberry 


Plantations 


275,000 


Osier Beds 


... 


160,000 


Ponds, Open Drains 


... 


43,500 


Cemeteries, Churches, Public Buildings 


37,000 


Navigable Canals 


... ... 


31,000 


Quarries and Mines 





9,000 



131,562,500 
The northern part has no mountains ; the Ar- 
dennes, which rise to 1,300 feet, are 120 miles to the 
east of Paris ; the Morvan mountains to the south-east, 
nearly 4,000 feet high, are 160 miles away; those of 
the Bourbonnais and Auvergne, which range from 1,500 
to 5,000 feet, are two to three hundred miles to the 
south; those of Limousin, reaching to 2,500 feet, are 
250 miles to the south-west; the Vendee ranges, 1,000 



G . AS PEC 7 OF THE COUNTRY. 

feet, are 220 miles to tlie west; and tliose of Xormandy, 
1,300 feet, are 125 miles to tlie north-west. 

The country, thus surrounded by the mountains and 
the sea, contains the basins of the Seine and the Loire, 
and is "very far from being fiat or unbroken. Except in 
Flanders, and in the numerous Yalleys, the level of the 
country is high ; there is rery little land less than 300 
feet above the sea all the way from Flanders to the 
Loh'e. The rolling hills of Artois, Picardy, and the 
Pays de Caux, the table-lands of Brie and Beauce, the 
chalk downs of Champagne, average 400 to 500 feet ; 
the central plateau south of the Loire is as high. The 
real mountains of France are in the south, in Dauphine, 
the Cevennes and the Pyrenees. One has hardly yet 
come to consider Savoy as pai-t of France. 

Territorial Fraucc is divided into ei^^hty-seven departments, 

Divisions. ^ o ./ A 

each depai-tment into arrondissements, varying in number 
according to the size and population of the department, 
but amounting in the whole to 365; these again into 
cantons, numbering about 2,900 ; and the cantons into 
about 37,000 communes. Legally, no other division is 
recognised, but the names of the old provinces are 
retained in common parlance ; and, with very minor 
differences, the boundaries of the departments run ver^^ 
even with those of the old provinces. The limits, 
whether of the old or of the modern divisions, were not 
settled with any reference to the soil, consequentl}', the 
statistics published often include the produce from lands 
essentially different. 



TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS. , ■ 7 

National habits are too strong for official orders ; 
and it is more common for people to nse tlie names of 
the provinces than those of the departments, except 
where the provinces are so large that the department 
more clearly indicates the locality. Bnt here a host of 
smaller divisions, existing from time immemorial, specify 
still more clearly the part of the country that may be 
in question. There are about two hundred names of 
small principalities, dukedoms, counties, and townships, 
retained by the inhabitants, and recognised by every 
one in France, which are as much in use now as before 
the Eevolution. Normandy is spoken of more com- 
monly than any one of the departments into which it is 
divided; and if it were wished to indicate any special 
part of Normandy, the name of the local division would 
probably be used, not that of the department : as, 
the Pays de Caux, not the Seine Inferieure ; the 
Cotentin, not the Manche; Perche, not Orne. We have 
some few instances of this in England — as Holderness, 
Cleveland, and Craven, in Yorkshire, Thane t and 
Sheppey in Kent — but every part of France has a local 
name, by which it is known as distinguished from the 
modern one of the department, or the old one of the 
province ; and these names are still far from being 
meaningless : they keep alive the memory of the times 
when near neighbours were frequently at war — when 
the lord of one place was Burgundian, and that of 
another Armagnac ; one a follower of Gruise, and another 
of Conde. George Sand makes one of her characters 
say : " The obstinate rivalry which existed duriug 



8 TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS. 

many ages between tlie inhabitants of neighbouring 
districts, and which is still bitterly alive, must be under- 
stood in order to comprehend the vehemence with which 
my old uncles and aunts insisted upon being Auvergnats, 
and having no sort of connection with Le Yelay." 

There are places in France the people of which 
rarely marry out of their village, and provinces whose 
inhabitants cannot understand the language of the 
province adjoining. At a trial recently in Perigord, 
interpreters had to be employed; and a visitor to the 
agricultural show at Mende, in the department of the 
Lozere, in 1875, could not obtain the information he 
wanted from the farmers because they could only speak 
the patois of Languedoc. In 1787 Ai'thur Young said 
that not one farmer in twenty in Flanders could speak 
French ; this is certainly not the case now, but it would 
be true enough of the labourers in many of the villages. 

The organisation of the prefets at the head of the 
departments, the sous-prcfets in the arrondissements, 
and the mayors in the communes, all, even including 
the mavors, until quite recently aj^pointed by the 
Government, assures an administrative unity ; and the 
French are strongly bound together in national sen- 
timent; but no. country contains populations more 
distinct in language, in race, and in tone of thought. 
Flemings, Bretons, Burgundians, Provencals, Bearnais, 
Auvergnats, Limousins, are quite distinct. They would 
not understand each other if they met ; and the in- 
habitant of one province would find himself as much 
expatriated on going to another as though he were in a 



TERRITORIAL DIVISIONS. " 9 

foreign country. Hamerton, in ''Eound my Honse," 
mentions tlie case of a peasant girl who left her village 
to reside some eighty miles off, but was compelled 
to go back because her friends would have it she was 
not in France, and that her reputation was endangered 
as it was reported she had gone away to misconduct 
herself in foreign parts. This, of course, is only true of 
the lower classes, but even with those above them there 
is a provincialism which limits their interest to what is 
going on in their own locality ; and, barring some great 
exciting cause, people may live, and do live, on the 
shores of the Mediterranean without ever hearing, or 
caring to hear, about any of the ordinary occurrences 
of the France of the English Channel. These dis- 
tinctive provincialisms have their charm, and ensure a 
pleasing variety in the intercourse of French society 
and the productions of French literature. If the French 
were a wandering people — which they are not — this 
characteristic would interfere greatly with their success. 
An English workman finds himself less from home over 
three-parts of the globe than a Frenchman a hundred 
miles from his own cottage. 

There is a unity, also, in the system of weights and Weights 
measures which, like that of the territorial divisions, is Measures. 
more apparent than real. Legally, traders can only 
use the metrical system, derived from the metre, which 
is the ten-millionth part of the distance from the pole 
to the equator ; this is the standard of long measure ; 
that of area is the are, which is. ten square metres ; 



10 ' WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. 

the litre, tlie tenth part of a cuhic metre, is the unit 
of capacity ; and the gramme, which is the weight of 
the tenth part of a cubic metre of distilled water, is 
the unit of weight. 

This is the national system, and any w^eights or 
measures not in accordance with it would be seized by 
the police ; but in practice the system is habitually 
evaded. A writer of authority, M. Victor Borie, 
says : — "After the Paris Exhibition of 1855 a kind of 
international association was formed for the purpose 
of obtaining the general adoption of a uniform standard 
of weights and measures through the civilised world, 
and France, as having taken the ' glorious initiative,' 
was to have the charge of the standards destined to 
facilitate so greatly international commerce. Some pro- 
gress has been made in twenty years, since a locality — 
the Pavilion de Breteuil — is being prepared for the 
manufacture and preservation of these standards ; and 
certainly the honour should belong to Prance, for it 
was a Prenchman who first, and for the only time, 
measured the distance of the pole from the Equator. 
But ought Ave not to preach by example as well as by 
precept? Do we? The law absolutely forbids the 
use or quotation of any measures but those of the 
metrical system : what have our dear fellow-citizens 
done ? By the aid of multiples and aliquot parts of the 
legal standards, they have re-established all the old local 
weights and measures. Take the following instances 
from corn markets in different parts of the country : — 
At Cannes, at Toulon, at Provins, corn is quoted at 



WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. 11 

per 160 litres; at Gruise, at. Lagny, at Lille, at Paris, 
per 150 litres; at Clermont, 130 litres; at Amiens, 200 
litres. These, however, are all by measurement. Other- 
markets make matters worse ; they are quoted by 
weight — at Soissons, per 1,000 kilos; at Eennes, per 
165 kilos; at Senlis, per 128; in the Meurthe et 
Moselle, at 100 kilos ; at Angonleme, 80 kilos ; &c. &c. 
You will understand the position of a wretched corn- 
merchant having to work out twenty, fifty times a day, 
this little problem : ' If 120 kilogrammes of wheat cost 
23 francs 50 centimes, what is the price of 150 litres ? ' — 
' Being given the length and breadth of the ship, what 
is the name of the captain?' Now, you cannot hinder 
a man offering his corn in lots of 80, 130, 150 litres, 
or 128, 165, or any other number of kilos, nor punish 
any one for so buying it ; the only thing that can be 
done is to forbid the publication by the local authorities, 
or in any newspaper, of quotations other than those of 
a uniform quantity all through the country." 

This is perfectly true — the law is evaded : and though 
the deliveries are made in the legal measurements, the 
bargains are very often, over a great part of France, 
made in the old names. People ask for an aune of 
cloth, and they receive a metre and 20 centimetres ; 
for a pound of sugar, and they get 500 grammes ; for 
a quarter of a pound of coffee, and they get 125 
grammes. There are also many parts into which even the 
new names seem hardly to have penetrated — where the 
people know nothing of hectares, but give the measure- 
ment of land in journals, centiers, hommes, quartiers. 



12 WEIGHTS AND MEASURES. 

and bonniers ; that of corn in bushels, or double 
bushels ; talk about livres, sous, and liards — not francs 
and centimes — and quote the price of cattle in pistoles. 

Popuia- This is not the place to add many more pages to those 
already written about what is called the depopulation of 
France; but it is impossible to pass the subject by 
without some notice, and difficult to write about it 
shortly. Before 1848, the annual excess of births over 
deaths was 200,000; from 1848 to 1868, it was only 
100,000, which shows a loss of expected increase of 
2,000,000 of people in the twenty years. The Grerman 
War lasted only one summer and one winter, but cost 
_^ Prance 550,000 lives; the deaths increased 400,000, 
and the births decreased 150,000. 

In 1873 the excess of births over deaths was 
101,776; in 1874 there seems to have been an improve- 
ment, as the births were in excess of the deaths by 
171,943, this was not owing to an increase in the 
births, but to a decrease in the deaths, which is purely 
accidental, and cannot be depended upon ; in the fol- 
lowing year, 1875, the increase fell to 105,913. From 
1858 to 1868 the births averaged about 1,000,000 
yearly; in 1874 they were 953,652 ; in 1875, 950,975. 
From 1816 to 1869, in every year except thirteen, the 
number of births exceeded that of 1874, although the 
population was smaller; and 100 years ago, on a popu- 
lation of only 26,000,000, the yearly births were reckoned 
at 1,000,000, which is more than they are now, with a 
population of 36,000,000 ; and giving then a yearly 



population: 13 

increase of 182,000 against one now of only about 
100,000. 

In the United Kingdom the excess of births over 
deaths in 1876 was 477,722; the yearly increase is 
more than four times that of France, and during 
the last seven years we have sent out an average of 
108,000 emigrants yearly, while France only sends 
out 6,000. England abroad is increasing as fast as 
France is at home, by emigration alcne, without coun- 
ting the births in the colonies. In 1787 the United 
Kingdom had a population of 15,000,000 against 
26,000,000 in France, now it has 34,000,000 against 
36,000,000 in France — and has the colonies to boot. 

This serious loss of increase is not owing to fewer 
marriages, as from 1872 to 1874 they were above the 
average, being 303,113 in the latter year; in 1875 they 
were 300,427. In the United Kingdom the marriages 
are about 252,000 yearly. 

In 1873, 303,810 people reached the age of 21 years, 
in 1876 only 277,000. 

From 1817 to 1833 there was one birth to every 32 
of the population; from 1834 to 1846, one to 35 ; from 
1847 to 1S60, one to 37; from 1861 to 1868, one to 
38 ; if the increase had remained the same as durinsr 
the first period, the yearly births would now be 
1,130,000 instead of 950,000 ; thus, compared with 50 
years ago, France has lost about 20 per cent, of its 
fecundity. (P. Le Boi/-Beaulieu.) 

Although in former times the population of France 
increased at a far greater ratio than it does now, there 



14 POPULATION. 

was always an objection to large families among tlie 
nobles, an objection which seems, in this country, to 
attach itself to the possessors of property. It was usual 
for only one of the sons and one of the daughters to 
marry : in some families the bearer of the title married, 
but the rule was not absolute ; sometimes one of the 
younger sons was chosen to continue the family. Of 
the unmarried sons, one entered the army, and was 
Monsieur le Chevalier, one the church, and was Monsieur 
TAbbe ; the daughters not chosen to mate with their 
equals entered convents, some with religious vows, 
others into communities which possessed large proper- 
ties, and whose members received visitors, and kept up 
a state of social hospitality equal to that of the nobles. 
Into some of these none but maidens who could show 
four quarterings of nobility, and could prove them back 
for two hundred years, were eligible, as in that of 
Bemiremont, into which society the daughter of Gaston, 
brother of Louis XIII., found some difficulty in entering 
on account of her descent from the Medicis. The Abbess 
of Eemiremont was lady of 52 manors and 22 lordships, 
and bore the title of Princess of the Holy Homan Empire. 
The fifty ladies of the society lived in separate dwellings, 
and had the title of Countess ; their vows could be 
renounced, and they might marry, but it was very 
seldom that any of them did. "A document of the 
IGth century tells us what ought to be the elements of 
a noble house ; we see that a small family was even 
then deemed essential. A c^entleman must not have 
more than three sons. If he is rich, then the eldest son 



population: 15 

and one of the others must be soldiers, and the third a 
churchman, or a lawyer; if he be poor, then only one must 
follow arms, the other two the professions. The eldest son 
should have no children ; there must be as few daughters 
as possible, ' they are the ruin of houses ; fortunately 
there are convents '" (Kitchin, "History of France.") 

The relative diminution of population excites the 
most lively disquietude in French society, but as every 
individual has to think for himself, and is guided in his 
action by what seems his own interest, and not that of 
society, it is very doubtful if any remedy can be applied. 
If this state of affairs were clearly traceable to the laws 
of succession to property, these laws might be altered, 
but as they are in close conformity with the wishes of 
the people, it is not likely that they will be. The 
subject is alluded to by leading men of all classes, and 
the people are appealed to on every opportunity. A 
play has been brought out, " L'Ami Fritz," which looks 
as though it had been written with a purpose ; it 
abounds with touching lines on the virtues of domestic 
life, and the joy of large families; and on its first repre- 
sentation in November, 1876, when the leaders of French 
society in politics, literature, and the arts, were present, 
the most pointed lines were received with such tumul- 
tuous applause that the actors could not proceed for 
some minutes at a time. 

This slow increase of population is not viewed un- 
favourably by every one. It is better, say some econo- 
mists, to have 2,000,000 people with plenty for them, 
rather than double the number with too little ; that 



16 POPULATION. 

France could hardly be better off if sbe had more in- 
habitants to live on what she produced; and Mons. de 
Witt, the son-in-law of Guizot, congratulates his fellow- 
countrymen upon not being obliged to expatriate so 
many of their best citizens, as other countries are 
compelled to do. The majority are against these views ; 
an increase of people could not lessen the produce to be 
divided, if each produced more than he consumed, or as 
much. The worst poverty a nation can suffer is a 
poverty in the number of inhabitants, and if other 
nations send out emigrants they thereby extend the 
influence of their countiy all over the world, and give 
employment to those remaining at home. 

France is not alone in this loss of increase, as it is also 
noticeable in Hungary, where the births have steadily 
decreased: this decrease is whollv amonof the Maofvar 
population, the Grermans and the Skivs increase. In 
27 counties, mainly German or Slavic, the births exceed 
the deaths; in 52 counties, almost wholly peopled by 
Mag3^ars, the deaths exceed the births. During the 
Austrian rule the births exceeded the deaths by 104,000 
yearly; in IS 71, when there was an addition to the 
population of 1,200,000 by the incorporation of the 
military frontiers, the increase was only 50,000. 

If society at large is disquieted by the small increase 
of the people, the farmers feel it more acutely and 
directly. The census of 1S72 showed, after allowing 
for the loss of Alsace, an absolute decrease of 492,000 
since that of 1866 ; but in this period of six years the 
towns with a population of over 10,000 had increased 



population: 17 

221,000, whicli makes the loss of rural population more 
than 700,000 ; and this transfer of workers from the 
country to towns has been going on for years ; the loss 
from 1851 to 1861 was 1,100,000. In 1846 one-fourth 
only of the total population was urban, in 1872 the 
proportion was 31 per cent., nearly one -third. 

We may be sure that people would not leave the 
country for the towns unless they could make money 
enough there to keep themselves. Wealth has in- 
creased, and with it the wants of those who have 
the wealth ; these wants are mainly supplied in 
towns, which consequently offer inducements of all 
kinds to the rural population to desert the fields and 
take service where higher wages are paid, and where 
life is more cheerful. At every agricultural meeting 
speeches are made urging the workmen and women not 
to abandon the calm and healthy life of the country for 
the exciting and dangerous occupations of towns ; and 
when the money prizes and medals are presented to 
those servants who have been longest in one employ, 
the President is always full of praise of such conduct, as 
a memorial of the good old times contrasted with the 
present. He does not quote Shakespeare, but he gives 
a French version of Orlando's speech to Adam ; but 
when and where was that '' antique world, when service 
sweat for duty, not for meed ?" 

The teachers in the village schools are to urge upon 
their pupils the happiness of a country life, and our old 
friend " fortunatos Agricolas" is continually cropping 
up. It all seems useless. France is shorthanded, and 



18 population: 

workmen will drift where tliey get best paid and enjoy 
themselves most ; and they will leave the occupation of 
a farm-labourer which has long been the hardest, the 
worst-paid, and the least respected in the country. 
Whoever has seen the sordid and miserable French 
village, the badly- constructed and ill-drained dwellings, 
with stagnant pools and dung-heaps before the doors 
and under the windows of the cottages, will understand 
how mnch more agreeable it must be for a man to live 
in a town than to remain in them, even with all the 
affection which a Frenchman is supposed to feel for his 
^' pays'' his locality. 

At times of pressure farmers must offer high wages to 
get-their work done ; as mnch as from 3/6 to 5/- per day, 
with board in addition : and whereas formerlv labourers 
were thankful enough to sit dowm with the farmer, and 
partake of the same fare that satisfied his family, they 
are now often more exacting, and special and extra food 
has to be provided for them. In this last respect they 
are probably not much to bUime, as the living on many 
French farms is on too low a scale, from parsimony, not 
always from necessity. 

Another cause, unknown in England, increases the 
difficulty of French farmers with their labourers : in 
most parts of the country the latter are, either directly 
themselves, or indirectly through their fathers, owners 
of a bit of land, which makes them partially inde- 
pendent, and not at the beck and call of those who 
want them ; 75 per cent, of the agricultural labourers 
of France are so situated. 



POPULATION. 19 

The loss to the farmers is represented by quality as 
well as by numbers. During the last twenty years the 
rural population has diminished perhaps a tenth, but 
the real working power has fallen off by a fourth, as it 
is the best and youngest who leave, the timid, the 
ignorant, and the stupid, remain. The conscription for 
the army also takes away the young hands for three or 
six years at their prime, when their habits are forming ; 
and after that time of barrack or camp life they do not 
return willingly to the dullness of the village, which 
appears doubly dull by comparison with the good- 
fellowship of the regiment and the brightness of the 
towns ; they miss the glare of the gas, the shops, the 
occasional music, the life of the streets, and the bustle 
of the railway; so at the end of the term of service 
many soldiers remain in the towns, where they easily 
find employment. 

The increased value of labour may prove to be a . 
corrective to the excessive craving for land. No life is 
so hard as that of the peasant working his own land ; 
and the change from such toil — which at the year's 
end, by the most niggardly starvation system of living, 
leaves less money than could be saved out of easy work 
and good living in towns- — will perhaps tend to take 
the children of peasant proprietors out of the old 
groove. 

Another complaint connected with population comes Marriages. 
from the farmers : they say that when they want to 
settle their sons in their own business they cannot find 
• ' c 2 



20 MARRIAGES. 

suitable wives for tliem. There is an impression among 
English, people that marriages are arranged in Prance 
without consulting the feelings of those most deeply 
interested, and that young people are engaged to be 
married before the}^ have perhaps even seen each other. 
Error. Grirls in France do not marry men they would 
rather not marry any more than they do in England. 
Marriages are certainly more directly discussed by 
parents before any formal engagement is made than 
they are with us ; but it is almost always on the 
demand or with the assent of the young people ; and 
it can rarely happen that such an engagement can be 
made between strangers : one stranger could hardly ask 
another to let their children be married ; there must be 
some previous acquaintance. There is an advantage in 
this French system ; a great cause of flimily discord is 
removed when it is not possible for the parents of one 
child to express dissatisfaction at the engagement, or, 
indeed, for the parents of both, as is sometimes the 
case here. There can be no remarks about the folly of 
Angelina taking up with Edwin, when she might have 
done so much better ; or of wonder at what Edwin could 
see in Angelina, who hasn't a penny, when he might have 
had Miss Plomley with £10,000 of her own, &c. &c. 

It seems that farmers do not find their daughters 
willing to lead the lives their mothers have led. They 
have had some education at a boarding-school where 
they have met companions from the towns ; from them 
they have heard of the delights of a town life — the 
quiet work of an afternoon, after the household duties 



MARRIAGES. 21 

of the morning liave been fulfilled, enlivened by dis- 
cussions upon costume witli friendly neighbours ; the 
frequent concerts ; the occasional visits to the play 
v^hen a Paris company has come down to the provinces; 
the annual ball at the prefecture, the evening parties at 
the sous-prefecture, M^here perhaps the refreshments 
are only cakes and syrup and water, or may -be ices, 
but where there are always music, lights, flowers, 
gay dresses, servants in gorgeous liveries, smiling faces, 
gentlemen in full dress, officers in uniform, a good 
sprinkling of high-class-looking men with decorations, 
and a gracions welcome — 

" Gay fancy's beams the truth adorning ;" 

and when the father tells the girl that his old 
friend Jean is thinking about giving up his farm 
and establishing his son, and that young Jean wants a 
good wife, and would like to see his little V^irginie 
mistress there, he as likely as not gets for answer, 
" No, no, petit pere " — ^little father — (" little " being a 
term of affection, and having no reference to size, little 
father weighing probably eighteen stone) — " No, no, 
little father. Jean is a good fellow ; he has always 
been a good son ; but life at the farm with him does 
not look smiling enough to me. Petit pere must find 
some other parti J' Then she puts her head on his 
shoulder, and pats his broad chest. She is in no way 
anxious, as she knows the decision does not rest with 
"little father," but with that other parent who is 
always the most deeply loved by every French child — 



.ZZ MARRIAGES. 

'' Bonne mere, dear motlier, sweet motlier." '^ Go, go, 
little one ; disquiet not tliyself . Thy f atlier would 
have liked it; but he won't insist." She knows too 
well how hard her life has been — the earliest up in the 
morning, the last to rest at night ; watching and 
worrying about servants yearly becoming more difficult 
to manage ; slaving to make money, and sparing to 
save it ; and having saved it, willing enough to keep 
her child from a similar existence. She is proud 
enough when she can introduce some "well-considered" 
young man, in a glossy black dress-coat and white tie, 
who is destined to " make the happiness " of " our 
Yirginie." And he does make her happiness : if he is 
a lawyer, her dowry goes to help towards the purchase 
of a practice in the town, or if he is in Government 
employ, the income helps the household expenses ; if in 
trade, it buys the goodwill of a business. The mother 
sees with pleasure her daughter's life passing cheerfully 
and happily. At the end of the first year the young 
couple find they have lived within their income ; and 
every year adds to the store which they put by to 
establish their little bullet-headed boy when he grows 
up, and to make a dowry for the little round-eyed girl, 
or mayhap to provide for three ; but they never get 
beyond the traditional number. 

But if the Yirginies, who are caj)able of throwing 
some grace into the dull surroundings of country life, 
thus quit the country for the town, what are the Jeans 
and the brothers to do who have to manage the farms ? 
This is the difficulty of Avhich such frequent notice is 



MARRIAGES, 23 

taken ; and it is likely to increase ratlier tlian diminish, 
unless life at a French, farm can be made more attractive. 
As a mere matter of money-making a French farmyard 
in a good country is all that could be desired. Large 
enclosed yards, good buildings, the house overlooking 
the yard and buildings and all that is going on, but 
with none of the attractions that make the smallest 
homestead in England the sort of place a moderate- 
minded man would be content to spend his life in. If 
the good farms are like this, one may judge what the 
others are : the farmer and his family living in the 
kitchen ; the floor of mud, the vv^alls perhaps also of 
mud ; poultry as free to come and go as the master 
and mistress. Country life in France for a farmer's 
wife has no attractions to compete with those of the 
towns. 

Here is no rector with perhaps a very small income 
from the church, but with private means to enable him 
to live nicely, having, may-be, a family of daughters 
whose gracious presence refines the whole place, or three 
or four pupils to smoke a friendly pipe with the farmer, 
have a " crack " about dogs and horses, and bring to 
his knowledge the ways and habits of the higher 
classes. Instead of this, a worthy priest, at a salary of 
fourteen shillings a v/eek, performing the service in a 
cold, deserted-looking church to a miserable collection 
of the poorest in the place (if the fev7 attendants in many 
parishes are worthy the name of collection), in marked 
contrast to the parish church in England, to sit in which 
for a couple of hours once a week is an education of 



24 MARRIAGES, 

itself. Fourteen sMllings a week and a hopeless future ! 
— at least a future may be called hopeless in a worldly 
point of view wlien all that can be expected is a 
rise to the dignity of a parson of the first class, 
at twenty-three shillings a week, or the higher glcry 
of a canon in the cathedral at ' twenty-six shillings ! 
And yet France is full of self-sacrificing men who 
take this work, and do it conscientiously, tramping 
through snow and heat to the bedside of the sick and 
dying who during their lives have neglected their 
ministrations and jeered at their sacred ofiice. Xor is 
there any or much compensation, socially, for these men 
outside their duties. Some bishops have shown that 
the money receipts beyond the legal stipend do not 
exceed £1 a year for each clergyman ; and as for social 
position, there are not too man}^ priests who, from their 
connections and education, could mix advantageously 
wath those above the rank of peasants, nor are there 
too many places where there exist families able and 
willing to offer the hospitality of their houses. No 
wonder a certain number leave the profession to which 
they have in most cases been devoted without any 
consultation of their wishes. It is said tliat the cab- 
drivers in Paris are largely recruited from unfrocked 
priests. This is not easy to verify ; but unfrocked is 
too hard a word to use : it seems to signify that they 
had disgraced their cloth, when perhaps they onl}^ 
found that fourteen shillings a Aveek, with a remote 
chance of twenty-six shillings, was not a sufficient 
compensation for a life of dull self-abnegation. It 



MARRIAGES. 25 

is easy to nnderstand that the life of a Paris 
cab-driver offers far more attractions to any but a 
most spiritually-minded man than that of a lonely 
parish priest, denying himself creature comforts every 
day of his life. The Paris cab- driver is master of 
the situation on the pavement; there are generally 
more customers than there are cabs : he does not move 
a couple of streets' length under eighteenpence. No 
other occupation in Prance offers so many specimens of 
rosy-cheeked, well-fed men : two hundred cab-drivers of 
Paris would outweigh three hundred of their fellow- 
jar vies in London. 

Farming in Prance means business, and wants the 
attractions which educated women look for ; for most 
days in the week, except on market-days, and then only 
partially, the farmer over a great part of the country 
cannot be distinguished from his labourers by any 
superiority of dress or personal appearance — it may 
even be said, of manners or speech. 

The smallness of the increase of population is asserted i^i^ision 
generally to be directly caused by the division of the Estates. 
inheritance among the children, and is more observable 
among those who have property than among those who 
have none. A landowner, however small his holding 
may be, no more likes to see his family descend in rank 
than do those above him, and to avoid it will keep the 
numbers small enough to attain this end; the French 
have not primogeniture, they meet the case by having 
unigeniture. 



26 DIVISION OF ESTAIES. 

If this is tlie cause of tlie evil, it is directly contrary 
to wliat was expected by v/riters of autliority in times 
past. Arthur Young considered France greatly over- 
populated in 1787 with 26,000,000 inhabitants, compared 
to the then 15,000,000 of Grreat Britain, and their 
" great populousness I attribute very much to the 
division of the lands into small properties, which takes 
place in that country to a degree of which we have in 
England but little conception. Whatever promises the 
appearance even of subsistence induces men to marry. 
The inheritance of 10 or 12 acres to be divided among 
the children of the proprietor, will be looked to with the 
views of a permanent settlement, and either occasions a 
marriage, the infants of which die young for want of 
sufficient nourishment, or keeps children at home, dis- 
tressing their relations, long after they should have 
emigrated to the towns." 

Macculloch, in his '' Principles of Political Economy" 
(1823), says: "The division of property necessarily 
weakens the desire to accumulate fortune, over the dis- 
posal of which it allows so ver}' little influence. If the 
law be not repealed, or some countervailing principle be 
called into operation, it bids fair, in no ver}^ lengthened 
period, to reduce the agriculturists of France to a con- 
dition little, if at all, better than those of Ireland." 
Some countervailing principle is in operation, and pro- 
bably was at the time he wrote, only not discernible by 
him or any one ; for whereas he said in 1823 that in fifty 
years France would become a ''pauper warren," the 
irony of fate willed it that precisely at that time she 



DIVISION OF ESTATES, 27 

sliowed herself capable of bearing the heaviest load ever 
laid upon a nation — a load which would have been mortal 
for any other country, and was then declared by another 
Macculloch, late United States Finance Secretary, to be 
*' financially in most respects better than any nation in 
the world," and to be " as a purely agricultural country, 
undoubtedly the first in Europe." 

At the moment of their deepest anguish Englishmen 
and Americans came forward and helped the peasant 
farmers with assistance in the way of seeds and imple- 
ments. No act of kindness was ever more gratefully 
accepted, and none ever had so good an effect in cement- 
ing national good feeling. The impression is not likely 
ever to die out ; but many subscribers to the fund will 
be apt to think as the countryman did in the old song, 
when he received a guinea from a lord in waiting, after 
having given a shilling to George III. for showing 
him round the gardens at Windsor, mistaking the king 
for a servant — 

" If I'd a known lie'cl got so much money, 
Darn my wig if I'd gi'en him the shilling." 

If the slow increase of population in Erance is caused 
by the division of the laud into small properties, as is so 
often asserted, it must be submitted to, for this cause 
is not likely to be removed, it is approved of far too 
generally by the leading men of all shades of political 
opinion. A report read by Mons. Bochin, before the 
Societe des Agriculteurs de Erance, and adopted by the 
Societe, and printed in its proceedings, states that '' this 
division of land produces a position, the happy con- 



28 DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

sequences of which, we cannot too fully recognise." And 
agaiu he says, '' It is an advantage for which w^e ought 
to be deeply thankful to Providence, because it is the 
best bulwark against a false socialism, the most effica- 
cious obstacle to oppose to subversive doctrines. Can w^e 
overlook, in comparing France to England, the work- 
men's societies, trades' unions, and similar societies 
formed among farm -labourers, threatening the country 
with a social and economical revolution, against which 
France will find the most solid rampart in a wide 
distribution of real and personal property, a system 
which will ensure the continual development of both." 
And again, '' small landowners the chief element of our 
national wealth?" The same strain of satisfaction runs 
through the wTitings of French economists ; we must 
assume that they know their country best, and what 
best suits its wants ; and this equal division of property 
among all the children is so much in conformity with 
the wishes of the people that it is seldom that a parent 
makes use of the power he possesses over a portion of 
his estate, to leave that portion to any one child to the 
exclusion of his brothers and sisters. 

If a man has one child he has a pow^r of disposal 
over half his property ; if two children, over a third ; if 
there are three or more children, over a fourth. If he 
makes no special disposal, they share equally. 

It is commonly supposed that this right to share 
equally in a parent's property originated in laws passed 
durins: the revolutionarv period, and confirmed bv the 
Code Napoleon. This is not so — the custom is older even 



DIVISION OF ESTATES. 29 

than France itself ; it was practised by tlie Gauls before 
the land was conquered by tbe Franks, and the descent 
of land to one child, and the attaching lands to a feudal 
title, are of comparatively modern introduction. The 
Roman law, which was the law of Graul before the 
Frankish conquest, gave to each of the heirs a fourth of 
what he would have had if the deceased had died 
intestate. The code of Justinian increased the rights of 
the heir and the co-heirs, and if they were more than 
four in number they took, not a fourth, but a half; if less 
than four, then they took a third ; the limitation of the 
power of disposal is therefore not new, but very old. 

The effect of this law was so great that Arthur 
Young could say, in 1787: "The number of small 
properties is so great, that I am inclined to suppose 
more than one-third of the kingdom occupied by 
them." Young's estimate was no doubt founded upon 
sound information, but not upon trustworthy statistics, 
and may be exaggerated ; and he does not say what he 
means by small properties. Mons. Leonce de Lavergne 
(1862) states that one-third of the territory, 37,500,000 
acres, is in the hands of 50,000 owners, averaging 750, 
acres each; another third in the hands of 500,000 
owners, averaging 75 acres; and the last third in the 
hands of 5,000,000 owners, averaging 7i acres. If the 
limit of small properties be extended to 25 acres, it 
would seem probable that by this time half the country 
will be so held ; however this may be, in most of the 
departments the estates of 250 acres can be easily 
counted, and there are not 15,000 owners whose 



80 DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

income from land exceeds from £280 to £320 per 
annum. 

The cultivated land is occupied by 3,225,877 farms, 
each under separate management; more than half the 
number, 56 per cent., are under 122 acres ; a fifth from 
12i to 25 acres, so that three-fourths of them are less 
than 25 acres. In six departments from 700 to 900 
farms out of every 1,000 are less than 12 J acres; in 
the six which have the fewest small farms the pro- 
portion is nearly 400 in the 1,000 of that size. 

The report of Mons. Bochin to the Societe des 
Agriculteurs, already quoted, puts the value of the 
freehold property of France at nearly £4,000,000,000 
sterling, two-thirds of this being land, and one -third 
buildings, and the rent at £128,000,000 ; of which 
£80,000,000 are from land, and £48,000,000 from houses. 
There are 14,000,000 entries of names for land-tax; 
but, allowing for those entered in duplicate, the soil is 
estimated to belong to about 9,000,000 persons. Of 
these 9,000,000, 7,500,000 represent the medium and 
small properties, 3,000,000 of the owners of Avhicli are 
in a condition bordering on destitution — are, in fact, 
often in receipt of charitable relief, and they pay no 
direct taxes. This estimate sufficiently confirms that 
of Mons. de Lavergne, the difference of 2,500,000 
being made up by the increase between the dates of 
the two estimates (nine years), wliicli would amount to 
quite 800,000, and by the well-founded supposition 
that many owners evade the tax on land in con- 
sequence of imperfect registration to the extent of 



DIVISION OF ESTATES, 31 

quite 800,000 out of the 14,000,000 entries, and 
to the amount of something like a million, or a 
million and a half sterling in money yearly. The other 
900,000 would be accounted for by Mons. Bochin 
extending the limit of small ownership to 10 acres, 
whereas Mons. de Lavergne calls it 7 J acres. 

In 1826 the ministry of Mons. de Yillele attempted 
what we should consider a very small change in the 
law of succession, viz., ''That if the deceased had not 
disposed of the part over which he had power, that 
portion should descend to the eldest male heir ; but 
that if the deceased should have expressed his wish 
by deed that such descent should not take place, the 
division should be made as usual." The proposal was 
hotly debated for three days in the Chamber of Deputies, 
where it was carried by a majority of 261 to 75 ; but 
it was lost in the Peers by 120 to 94. Paris was 
illuminated for three nights, the result being considered 
a great triumph over an attempt to restore primo- 
geniture, and is even now quoted as an argument in 
favour of a second chamber. During the discussion 
the minister stated that since the Pevolution, 660,000 
persons had bought church lands, 440,000 had bought 
the estates of twenty-seven emigrant families, and 
110,000 had bought common lands, altogether a 
million and a quarter of new owners had taken the 
places of 30,000 old ones. 

The church lands were to a considerable extent 
bought by those who farmed them, and in many 
districts the farms remain to this day of the same 



32 DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

size they always were. There was no immediate 
change in the farming, as these lands w^ere always 
well managed. 

The lands of the nobles were susceptible of and 
received immediate improvement, for in a A^ery great 
degree they had been grossly neglected, left untilled, 
indeed ; and where tilled, the crops much eaten up by 
game. Arthur Young says: ''It is the same every- 
where, on the properties of those great landowners, 
heaths, deserts, and underwood ; their residences sur- 
rounded by forests full of stags, wild boars, and wolves, 
partridges enough in places to eat uj) all the crops, a 
covey upon every two acres, on some places more." A 
fifth part of the territory was owned by the nobles, 
and it was put up for sale at the same time as 
the Church property ; but, though the Church lands 
absolutely changed hands, that belougiug to the nobles 
for the larger part returned to them. ''Not more tlian 
about one-tbird was sold when offered, and the unsold 
part was returned to the owners during the Emph'e, 
or on the Eestoration in IS 14. Of the portion sold, 
some was bought for account of the owners, souie 
restored by the purchasers on repayment of the 
purchase money, and some was compensated for by 
the indemnity paid in 18.25. The actual loss did not 
exceed £16,000,000 sterling out of a total of 120 or 
ICO millions, and that loss has been more than replaced 
by rich marriages, so that the majority of the noble 
families supposed to be ruined by the devolution is 
really richer now than in 1789." (Lavergne.) 



DIVISION OF ESTATES. 33 

The sales of the communal lands were certainly 
beneficial; but they were suddenly stopped on the 
plea that by their sale poor inhabitants were deprived 
of a valuable privilege — a perfectly true plea, but one 
which was against public policy; 12,000,000 acres, 
the tenth of the territory, were thus doomed to remain 
almost barren, and removed from the influence of any 
improvement. Some by agreement has since come 
into private hands, particularly in the north-east and 
north-west, where, indeed, there are now hardly any 
common lands ; but too much yet remains in the same 
unproductive state. Those who seek the improvement 
of French farming are trying to reduce the injury done 
to a minimum, and a new rural code has been drawn 
up, and will probably be adopted, which defines and 
limits these communal rights, and which will facilitate 
sales and inclosures. 

By the law of 1793 the division of common lands 
when determined upon was declared to be made equally 
between every domiciled inhabitant of every age and 
of each sex, absent or present, subsequently altered 
to a division equally to each " hearth." Decisions 
since then have supported the rights of the commune 
to the land, and prohibited the gratuitous division, 
but have authorised the sale of them. 

In Marche and Limousin, where every house in every 
village has the use of common lands, the practice has 
been to set out as many lots as there were households, 
and to alienate them to each household on condition 
of the payment of a perpetual rent-charge, or, more 

D 



34 DIVISION OF ESTATES, 

generally, of a sum for a fixed term of years. This 
system, is really only a division as before, tlie commune 
— that is, the inhabitants — ^benefiting by the annual 
payments made, the money paid by them coming 
back into their own pocket. This is a clear evasion 
of the law, but it is practised ; and a question has 
arisen as to the right of an inhabitant to one or more 
shares if he possessed one or more houses. Judgment 
was given in December, 1876, by the law courts of 
Gueret, in Creuse, to the effect that occupation gave 
a right to use of the common lands, provided the 
occupation were in a detached residence ; that w^hether 
a man were the freeholder, or only the tenant, he had 
a right to the usage of the lands, and that therefore 
the freeholder could claim in the division as many 
portions as he had houses occupied by tenants, be- 
cause the partition was a compensation for the 
deprivation of the use of the land; but that if his 
houses had no tenants, therefore ha\4ng no one who 
could claim to use the land except himself, no com- 
pensation would accrue beyond his own claim, and 
he could only have one share, he being the only 
occupier. 

These rights are the remains of a S3^stem of holding 
2)roperty in common which existed in France in past 
ages — and, indeed, throughout Europe — and in England, 
where many traces of it may yet be seen. In some 
places they are interpreted to mean the right of pastur- 
ing on stubbles for a fixed time ; so that nothing can 
be done on the land for that period, and clovers can 



DIVISION OF ESTATES. 35 

not be sown on spring corn where tlie claim is 
allowed. 

But if there is a general agreement as to the 
partition of inheritance, there is a very general objection 
to the way in which it is carried out, the result being 
the cutting up the land into strips so minute that the 
trace of them is almost lost, proper cultivation impeded, 
labour needlessly wasted, and difficulties in families 
and between neighbours woefully increased. The 
9,000,000 landowners have among them 143,000,000 
lots — say something like sixteen each — often miles apart. 
{BocJdns Heport?) The law says " each one of the co-heirs 
may claim his share of the real and personal property,'' 
and '' in forming the portions of each, it is as well to 
avoid, as far as may be possible, cutting up the inherit- 
ance, and also well to give each co-heir the same 
quantity of real or personal estate." The courts have 
interpreted this to mean that a division must take place 
if claimed, and have quashed wills which made a 
disposition* to one heir of the real estate, and to another 
of -the personal, or to each co-heir a separate real estate, 
although the value of each might be fairly appor- 
tioned. The consequence of this is a continual division 
and subdivision of plots of land, until at last no 
cultivation is possible except with a spade- and in 
some cases that must not be a full-sized one ; and a 
tree cannot be planted on an estate because it is 
illegal to plant one within two yards of your neigh- 
bour's boundary, and your neighbour on each side is 
within that distance. 
d2 



36 DIVISION OF ESTATES, 

A commune in the Meuse consists of 2,080 acres, 
owned bj 270 proprietors, but there are 5,348 different 
lots : each proprietor must have about twenty estates 
in the same parish ! At Estrees St. Denis, in Oise, the 
lots had got so small that each holding was only about 
thirteen square perches ; the owners agreed to have the 
land put together, and set out in lots of from half to 
three-quarters of an acre, and then sold to the highest 
bidder (only previous owners to bid ?) ; the value was 
doubled, trebled, and in some instances decupled. In 
some communes the land is re-allotted, each owner 
having as much as he had before, and the saving in 
roads and pathways has covered the expense. The 
boundaries of the lots are sometimes undistinguishable, 
and an absent or careless landowner finds his little 
morsel gradually becoming less by the wrong turning 
of the furrow by a grasping neighbour. 

When the ground was taken for a new cemetery 
for Paris, the true boundaries could not be proved for 
more than half the properties, and the reporter asserted 
that the same difficulty existed in three-fourths of the 
departments of France. 

There are nearl}' 6,000,000 of transfers of property 
yearly, of which about a quarter are sales ; they are, in 
a large proportion, made with considerable uncertainty 
as to boundaries, and lead to innumerable disputes. Out 
of the 45,000 civil causes tried yearly, 22,000 relate to 
successions to property. " Property in France at this 
time is in a deplorable state as to title ; in this respect 
deeds of transfer have become real labyrinths, through 



DIVISION OF ESTATES, 87 

whicb. tlie lawyers can hardly find their way, and of 
which the outside world cannot, by any possibility, 
make out anything. This is a serious difficulty in the 
way of transactions in freehold property, and a clog 
upon sales and mortgages of real estate. Before 
lending on mortgage or deposit, or completing a pur- 
chase, what examinations to. make, what dangers to 
dread, what legal snares to avoid ! And when the 
lender or purchaser has taken all these precautions, 
fulfilled all the legal formalities, he still runs the chance 
of being robbed. Such has been seen, is seen, and will 
be seen, as loDg as our system of hypothecation is so 
complicated. We must have great changes to protect 
efficaciously the credit of our real property." — Y. Emion, 
Advocate at the Paris Bar. 

This seems an interminable and ever-increasing 
maze of difficulty, but land is bought all the same with 
avidity when it can be got hold of. Small owners give 
any price for land bounding their own ; day labourers, 
who are receiving much higher wages than formerly, 
save and buy, so that now it is calculated that three- 
fourths of them through France are also landowners. 
It is clear that these small holdings, worked by a man's 
own family, do pay, and, considering how largely agri- 
culture is likely to become an affair of kitchen-gardening, 
will continue to pay more and more. These farmers 
are not dependent upon hired labour ; they do not want 
improved machinery ; they get a sufficiency of manure ; 
they do not grow corn, which is becoming yearly less 
profitable ; nor sheep, the wool of which is now under- 



6b DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

sold by Australia ; but tbey liave cows wliicb bring 
tliem money, or money's worth, every day ; tbey grow 
special articles, sucb as tbe climate of France allows 
them to do — vines, fruit, and garden produce, for which 
there is a ready sale ; indeed, for this, France is be- 
coming the provider of a great part of Europe, particu- 
larly of England. 

This excessive division is no new feature in France, 
any more than the equal partition of inheritances. 
There are documents now in existence of the date of 
the sixteenth century, having reference to sales of land 
in parcels as small as half an acre, and even of the fifth 
part of an acre. In all times the French peasant has 
somehow contrived to buy land. Clad in rags and 
half-starved, depriving himself hourly of necessities, he 
put by money sou by sou. This economy was in some 
measure forced upon him ; liad he not made his poverty 
evident he would have been more hea^dly taxed. When 
the taxes were paid punctually, such a proof of prosperity 
would be sure to cause an increase of the charsre for the 
following year, so that seizures for arrears were almost 
universal, and the peasants thought it chea23er to pay 
the expense of these seizures rather than be supposed 
rich enough to pay the taxes when due. The land, so 
badly cultivated, paid no rent ; owners, indeed, had to 
supply seed and cattle, and even, when the harvest 
failed, to support the people until next harvest came 
round. Landlords were not sorry to rid themselves of 
bits of land when a price was offered, and rid themselves 
at the same time of responsibilities. The. steward, 



DIVISION OF ESTATES. 39 

bribed by the peasant, says, " Useless bit of land, my 
lord — costs more tban it brings in; taxes are in arrears/' 
&c. &c., and any price was taken. During the last 
century . peasants became landowners to an extent not 
so very far short of their present number as is generally 
supposed. Arthur Young says, in 1787: "The small 
properties of the peasants are found everywhere, in 
every part of the kingdom, even in those provinces 
where other tenures prevail. I have more than once 
seen divisions carried to such an excess that a single 
fruit-tree, standing in ten perches of ground, has con- 
stituted a farm." And the peasant had such a hold on 
the land, in one way or another, that Maine says: "The 
sense of property in land was not in the Seigneur, but 
in the peasant." 

The manifest injury to agricultural progress caused 
by this minute " breaking up the land into powder " is 
causing much discussion; but at present nothing has 
been done to check it. The Societe des A^ricicUeurs 
supported the proposal that it should be legal for a man 
to will to one child his real and to another his personal 
estate, provided the division were of equal value ; but 
it fell to the ground. It also recommended that the 
redistribution of the lots, when called for by a majority 
of the owners, should be compulsory. This also has 
met with no success at present. 

Families often endeavour successfully to avoid the 
disastrous division by mutual arrangement. It is 
not every one who wishes to remain on the plot of land: 
other occupations are chosen; and then the one who 



40 DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

continnes buys the share or shares of the co-heirs, or he 
rents from them, or he farms on joint-account ; and 
frequently enough, the girl, rather than see the family 
reduced, will remain unmarried, so that her portion may 
continue undisturbed. The notion, however, so often 
repeated in argument, that " division of property 
necessarily leads to poverty, the landowners becoming 
poorer and poorer at everj^ generation," is shown by 
experience to be utterly wrong. The men make money, 
and buy land back which has been divided, or they do 
so with the dowry of their mves : the law of succession 
divides, accumulated wealth unites ; small properties 
increase a little at the expense of large ones, but very 
much at the expense of medium-sized ones. What we 
call small ones — say from ten to twenty acres — are 
increasing in number yearly, to the satisfoction of every 
one concerned ; and if a remedy could be found for the 
splitting of them ujd into minute lots, few complaints 
would be heard against the system. That remedy will 
probably be found in the higher value of labour, which 
will make co-heirs more ready to seek some other 
employment, rather than drudge on a modicum of land 
which cannot reward them so well as paid services. 

The large estates are not so frequently divided as 
the medium-sized ones ; when for sale, they are found 
to be too large to meet with buyers in sufficient numbers 
if cut up, and arrangements between families as to 
partition of the inheritance are more readil}^ agreed to, 
landowners seldom having more than a proportion of 
their property in land, about one-third being the usual 



DIVISION OF ESTATES, 41 

limit. One very favourite investment is the purchase 
of poor land to be improved by drainage, irrigation, or 
planting; the owner feeling that whatever money he 
may judiciously expend will come back to the whole of 
the children, either by division or by sale, and will not 
be for the sole benefit of one. Some of the most 
important rural properties in the country have been 
built up in this way ; and in spite of the seemingly 
small number of large properties, it is seldom that a 
newspaper can be taken up without finding advertise- 
ments ofiering more than one of from 500 to 1,500 acres 
for sale. The estates that are disappearing are the 
medium-sized ones, of from 50 to 150 acres; they 
are eaten into on both sides. A large landowner is 
glad to add to his estate a small adjoining one, and 
small owners will give almost any money to put another 
small bit to what they already possess. It is common 
enough for half a dozen small men to depute one of 
their number to bid, and then have the land divided 
among them. It is these medium-sized properties also 
which are the most useless to their owners ; in most 
cases they form only a portion of the family property, 
and the owner has occupations which prevent his 
giving his personal attention to the management. They 
are too small to be profitably farmed by a bailiff, and 
too large to be worked by the family, even if inclined to 
the business ; and hired labour is becoming yearly more 
unobtainable. These medium farms at one time ofiered 
good specimens of high farming, but the discouragement 
has been so great that they are disappearing ; and as an 



42 DIVISION OF ESTATES. 

instance, in one department — that of Maine et Loire — 
in 1865 there were twenty-nine competitors for the 
prize for good cultivation, and only two in 1873. 

The temptation to sell these medium properties is 
very great, on account, not only of the price they make, 
but also of the many opportunities that now exist of 
investing money more profitably. They do not pay 
above 2J per cent, to let, and they can be sold, when 
conveniently placed for division, at a price which bears 
no projDortion to the letting value ; there are, besides, 
always some uncertainties about due payment of the 
rent, claims for money for improvements, and want of 
facility of transfer. 

Value. The competition, both as to income and convenience, 
of other investments with land, has greatly reduced its 
value, except where it can be sold at a fancy price to a 
large and rich neighbour, or to a dozen craving small 
ones. The evidence given before the Government 
commission in 18 GO went to show that farming-land 
had fallen in value 25 per cent, in the previous twenty 
years \ rents had risen, but the selling value had fallen : 
since that time the tendency has been in the same 
direction. In 1791 the annual income derivable from in- 
vestments other than freehold property was estimated at 
£12,000,000; in 1849 it was esteemed equal to that 
from freehold ; at the present time (1875) the total of the 
two united "cannot be put at more than £320,000,000, of 
which £140,000,000 is from freeholds, and £180,000,000 
from other securities." In 18G9 the investments in 



VALUE, 43 

Grovernment stock by people in tlie departments was 
under £5,000,000; in 1873 it was nearly £20,000,000; 
but this was tlie year of the indemnity loan. The . 
money, however, was actually paid; and it is to be 
noticed that country investors rarely sell. Within the 
last twenty years, the fundholders in country places 
have increased more than tenfold. 

The charges on land are very heavy — so heavy, that Charges. 
some writers assert the value of the fee-simple is paid 
into the treasury every seventy-five years, in the course 
of three generations. The mortgage debt is put at 
£480,000,000, which is one-sixth of the estimated value 
of the land, borrowed at a high rate of interest; as 
much, including costs, as 7 per cent, calling for a 
yearly payment, mostly from the smallest owners, of 
£34,000,000 ; a heavy burden, but which is yearly 
reduced by some, to be increased by fresh buyers and 
borrowers. 

From the above statements, it would seem that the Popuia- 
" countervailing principle," stated by MaccuUoch to be 
necessary, in 1823, to stop France from becoming a 
" pauper-warren,'' has been actively in force for the last 
few years, and has greatly changed the French character. 
Before 1790, we have it on the best evidence that small 
and minutely- divided properties existed as they do now, 
and, in proportion to the number of people, to fully as 
great an extent, or even greater ; and yet at that time 
the increase of the people was double what it is now, 



44 POPULATION. 

on a population one-third less. A hundred years ago, 
France could send out colonies to Canada and Louisiana, 
and was before us in occupying part of India. She was 
incomparably less rich, and the peoj^le were miserably 
fed and, from all accounts, vilely treated. At the end 
of the seventeenth century, La Bruyere describes the 
peasantry as " men w^ho w^ould be taken for male and 
female wild beasts, having nothing human about them 
but their shape, hiding themselves at night in caves, 
where they live on roots, black bread, and water." The 
Duke de Lesdiguieres wTites, in 1G75 : "The majority 
of the inhabitants of the country have no bread but 
that made from acorns ; and at this moment (May) 
they are eating w^eeds and the bark of trees." This w^as 
in a short-crop year. 

Boisguillebert writes, 1G99, of Xormandy : "The 
tenth part of the inhabitants is in beggary; the half 
of the rest has barely necessaries, and of the other half, 
three-fourths are a lons^ wav from a state of comfort." 

The governor of Xormandy, at the same period, says : 
" In the district of Eouen, wliich was always one of the 
most industrious and well-to-do, among a population of 
700,000, there are not 50,000 who oat bread regularly, 
or who sleep upon anything but straw," 

All through, the eighteenth centmy complaints of the 
miserable condition of the people abound. Yauban 
says, in 1707: "The tenth part of the 2:)eople live by 
begging : two millions of beggnrs out of a total popu- 
lation of 20,000,000. Of the nine other parts, five can 
give no help because they themselves are too nearly in 



POPULATION. 45 

the same condition, and of the four remaining, three are 
very badly off. St. Simon says, in 1725: "The poor 
in Normandy are eating grass, and the kingdom is 
becoming a vast hospital of dead and dying." 

When a scheme for obtaining public assistance was 
set on foot, in 1735, D'Argenson writes: "The first 
conditions of success are wanting ; and they are, that 
our villages should not be deserts, and the few in- 
habitants themselves not beggars." > 

Massillon, in 1740, says: "The people in our 
country are in a frightful state of misery — without 
beds, without furniture. The majority for half of 
the year have, for sole food, bread made from barley 
or oats ; and they are obliged to deny themselves even 
this to pay the taxes. . . . Half of the land 
formerly cultivated is now abandoned. . . . On 
these deserted estates, the farmer, crushed by misery, is 
without resources and without strength; and the children 
who do not die of starvation leave the country for the 
towns." 

In 1745 the Duke of Orleans placed before Louis 
Xy. a loaf made from heather, saying, " Sire, this is 
what your subjects are living upon." 

And yet these half-starved peasants of the pre- 
revolutionary period gave an increase of population 
to their country a good deal more than double that of 
their well-to-do descendants : they formed the armies 
of the Great Conde and Turenne, and made their king, 
Louis XI V.J the leading sovereign in Europe. We, 
with our sturdy soldiers, reared on beef and beer, scored 



46 POPULATION. 

some victories over them at Blenheim, Eamilies, 
Oudenarde, Malplaquet, and Dettingen, but it took us 
all we knew to do it ; and the French have a fair set-off 
in Steenkirk, Landen (the bloodiest battle of the seven- 
teenth century), Almanza, Eontenoy, and Hastenbeck. 
The starvehng children of these half-starved peasants 
carried the French colours into every capital of con- 
tinental Europe, though at a cost of French lives in 
their prime which must have told on the population. 
The ten years of revolutionary wars destroyed one 
million ; those of the empire a million and a half, mostly 
of men between eighteen and forty-five. But in spite 
of this drain, the increase of population ujd to 1869 was 
more in accordance with the old standard than it has 
been since. The second emj^ire added its tale of loss 
in the wars of the Crimea, Italy, Mexico, and in that 
niost grievous of all, the one with Germany ; and 
though there is now no actual death-loss thi'ough a 
war, the population must suffer from ha^dng continually 
500,000 men in the prime of life learning to wheel 
to right and left, to cover 29 J inches in each step, 
to do a hundred and fifteen steps per minute, and to 
keep up to a pace of three and a quarter miles per 
hour in full marching order, instead of tilling the j^lot 
of land, working for weekly wages, and "cultivating 
those home affections which are the true ha^^piness of 
a country." 

Industry and thrift and prudence are admirable ; 
but in the French they become almost vices when they 
are shown in excess as among the peasant proprietors. 



POPULATION, 47 

The ordinary wages-receiving workman is nmcli like Ids 
fellows in other countries ; his family is larger than 
that of the small landowner, and he does not stint 
himself in his nonrishment as the peasant proprietor 
does, who will go from week to week with barely tasting 
wine and not at all animal food. As an instance, on 
the farm of Petit Bourg, in Seine et Oise, where also 
there is a manufactory of agricultural machinery, M. 
Decauville bakes bread for the workmen, and lays in a 
stock of wine, which he sells at cost price ; and here 
many of the labourers eat four pounds of bread and 
drink five pints of wine a day, besides some meat and 
cheese. The opinions of thoughtful men seem to tend 
towards the wish to introduce into France some of that 
improvidence which allows English people to bring 
large families into the world without first securing the 
means of keeping them, and which has peopled the 
continent of ISTorth America and the Australian colonies 
with an English-speaking race ; besides providing so great 
a supply of labourers at home that nothing that wants 
doing really is left undone for want of hands to do it. 

It is quite common to read in French papers that 
France is in a state of decay ; that nations which 
spread their influence by emigration will rule the 
world; that no poverty is so ruinous to a country 
as a poverty of subjects, &c., &c. M. Leroy-Beaulieu 
says, '' Emigration is a force which enriches a country, 
because the emigrants are the best missionaries of 
trade; the world is becoming Anglo-Saxon, or Eussian 
(Slavic), and that is what causes us anxiety." 



48 ' . POOR RELIEF. 

^^°.^ There is no poor law in France ; no one lias a legal 

right to relief; the admission of such a right would 
be a sanction of communistic principles, which French 
statesmen have always resisted ; but, nevertheless, any 
one wanting help knows exactly where to go and state 
his needs, and the machinery for inquiring into them 
and reporting upon them is perfect. Mr. A. Doyle 
says, " The reports are models of what such reports 
ought to be, and the applications for relief are con- 
sidered by the committee as in an English union." 
The difference, therefore, between having a right to 
relief and having none would seem very unimportant ; 
but the result to tlie applicant is more in accordance 
with the feeling that there ought to be no relief T^^here 
there has been improvidence, rather than that there is a 
right to it when destitute, no matter what may have 
been the antecedents of the pauper, which is the basis 
of the English law. The practice in France is all that 
could be desired to induce people to be provident, for 
after all these elaborate and perfect inquiries, the result 
is that " if the average amount distributed were never 
given at all, the jDoor would be no worse off, and the 
pauper would not suffer any more if this ridiculous 
assistance, distributed so uniformly, and with such 
perfect intelhgence, were to cease altogether. . . During 
the sixty j^ears of this administration not one single 
person has been raised from misery by the help of this 
system of charity. On the contrary, it perpetuates 
pauperism, and there are now on the list of recipients 
of relief people whose grandfathers received it in 1S02, 



POOR RELIEF. 49 

and the fathers in 1830 " (De Watteville). Mr. Doyle 
calls this system '^just enough to pauperise, but not 
enough to relieve ; and M. Laurent, " Not enough 
to bring even a passing relief to the misery of 
the poor." This " most perfect system of charity 
organisation of which we have any record," is not in 
operation in the country districts to nearly the same 
extent as it is in towns, and to this greater facility for 
obtaining assistance in sickness or trouble many people 
attribute in some degree the attraction the towns present 
to the rural workmen. It must, most probably, be 
allowed that the miserable mockery of relief quoted 
above must refer to the public relief, and that where 
severe want is evident, the visitors can call in the aid of 
private charity successfully. There is now a movement 
in the country districts to obtain this organisation for 
them, so that this particular temptation to leave the 
country for the town may be removed. The resolutions 
proposed, and in many cases adopted, go to recommend 
a wide and ample distribution of what really is out-door 
relief — just at the moment when opinion in England 
is swaying towards the absolute refusal of such relief 
in almost every case. It is true the two countries 
differ in this, that here we can offer the house, which 
cannot be done in France ; but so much stress is laid in 
the latter country upon keeping up the feeling of home, 
that the introduction of a workhouse test would be 
impossible ; and our poor law is called a. " deplorable 
legislative mea.sure." 

The resolutions proposed and adopted by the Council 

E 



50 POOR RELIEF. 

of the Societe des Aprriculteurs at various times durins: 
the years ]873, 1874, and 1875, are 'to the effect that 
assistance to the aged, infirm, and sick should he in 
their own homes ; that women at child-birth should he 
helped ; that families of the poor where the children are 
numerous should he assisted out of the local rates, and 
that relief generally should be extended. Other pro- 
positions, tending still more to discourage thrift and 
prudence, have been proposed, discussed, and adjourned, 
but the above were carried ; as yet, however, they have 
' not been practically applied, the cost preventing their 

present adoption : the principle is not objected to. 

peopi^c" ^^ ^^' suppl}^ of people is short in quantity, is the 
loss made dt:) in quality ? As regards artisans and town 
workmen of all kinds, the answer must certainlv be that 
it is. 1^'owhere is work turned out better than in 
France, more perfectly done, less scamjDcd. The appre- 
ciation of the designs of trade artists by the French work- 
ing-man puts French manufactures at the head of the 
jDroductions of the world ; nor are strikes or difficulties 
between masters and men so common as in England. 

Peasants. As regards farm-work — if in this be included 
much that we should consider as garden-work — the 
same must be said. The cultivation of fruit and fruit- 
trees, of vegetables for immediate use and for preserving, 
of all those varied productions from the land which the 
climate of France permits, but of which we know little 
in England, is carried on with an intelligence which 



FEASANTS. 5L 

puts those who labour at it on an equality with their 
fellow-countrymen of the towns. They do not spare 
the labour, and it is here that the bad points of the 
sj^stem show themselves. The peasant owners, examples 
of industry and thrift carried to excess, slave to get 
as much out of the land as it can be made to yield, 
starving themselves and their families to add something 
to their hoard ; their wives becoming prematurely old 
from field-labour, and bent from carrying heavy loads of 
fodder to the cow at home, content if at the year's end 
the tale of silver pieces be increased ; doing their share 
towards making France the richest country in the 
world, but at a sacrifice of all that makes life worth 
living for ; admirable for their hourly self-denial, but 
exciting a wish that they would have a little less 
thought about the fature, a little more trust in its 
providing for its own wants, a little more of the 
feeling that enough for the day is the evil thereof, 
of which an Enghshman has too much; and that one 
could see their homes more enlivened by the cries 
and prattle of children, and the wife rather worried 
with looking after them than worn with toiling 
" through shine and rain, through heat and snow ; " 
and the children with more light and life, more of the 
wilfulness and what our people call the "/owdaciousness" 
of childhood. 

The correspondent of an English newspaper thus 

writes of a country market-town in Seine et Oise : 

''There were freeholders in that St. Eemy. hostelry 

w^hose fee-simple properties and toil combined bring 

E 2 



52 PEASANTS, 

them incomes varying from one to three hundred 
pounds a year ; but in point of intellect and manly 
virtue, the poorest Scotch ditcher is above the whole 
of them. Many of these rich hinds had to count 
their gains on their fingers or on tallies. The French 
peasant has but one idea in his narrow crushed-down 
forehead, and that idea is money.'' 

On the other hand, Mr. Hamerton says, " The 
ignorance of French peasantry is difficult to believe 
when you do not know them, and still more when you 
know them well, because their intelligence and tact seem 
incompatible with ignorance. They are at the same 
time full of intelligence and inconceivably ignorant. 
Their manners are excellent, they have delicate pre- 
ceptions, they have tact, they have a certain refinement 
which a brutalised peasantry could not possibly have." 

If any one wants to know a good deal about French 
rural life, he cannot do better than read Hamerton's 
'' Round my House." 

Fairs. ^he Frcncli peasants may be ignorant, and they 
are specially illiterate ; newspapers are unknown among 
them, but they have their sources of information from 
frequently meeting at markets and fairs and hearing 
by word of mouth what is going on. These 
markets and fairs have so multiplied that steps will 
probably be taken to reduce them ; the Minister of 
Agriculture has called on the Prefets (1877) to furnish 
a list of the fairs in eacli department, and a state- 
ment of the right on whicli they are held. There are 



PEASANTS, 53 

27,000 fairs in France, more than seventy-five a day. 
Permission to liold a fair has been too easily granted ; 
owners are asked to send cattle, even if not for sale, 
and no one gains but the wine- shop keepers. The 
number is a hindrance to business rather than a gain : 
as they are so numerous each has but a small lot of 
cattle or corn ofiering, and large buyers do not care 
to come long distances only to have small transactions. 
The poor department of Morbihan, with 500,000 
inhabitants, has 750 fairs in a year. 

The peasants in certain districts have a special Special 

^ ^ ^ ^ Labour. 

aptitude for certain classes of work which is difficult 
to account for. Walloons from the borders of France 
and Belgium are the most apt at pulling down 
houses ; builders and stone-masons come from Marche 
and Limousin ; scavengers and chimney-sweeps from 
Auvergne ; market-gardeners from Nivernais and Le 
Morvan; and, it is said, cab-drivers from the depart- 
ment of the Aveyron. 

The French peasant is not a frequent correspondent, 
but he is well served by the post-office ; there are 
19,000 rural postmen, who deliver letters regularly 
in every commune of France. They are paid at the 
rate of five-eighths of a penny for every quarter of an 
hour of time, or for every five furlongs. Among the 
snows of the Jura they perform their journeys in snow- 
shoes; in the marshes of La Vendee they clear the 
drains with leaping-poles; on the sandy tracts of the 
Landes they walk on stilts; on the coasts of Brittany 



54 ' EBU9ATI9N. 

they must trust to small boats — and this for wages 
yarying from £5 to £30 per annum. 

Education. More than one-third of the adult population of 
France can neither read nor write, the proportion 
being 33t¥o per cent, for the ages above twenty; be- 
tween six years and twenty the proportion is 28roV per 
cent. 

The degree of instruction varies in different parts 
of the country. In the half-dozen mountainous depart- 
ments of the Jura and the Yosges ninety -two out of 
every hundred above the age of infancy can read and 
write ; while in the centre and in Brittany only forty- 
four in the hundred ; and in one department, Haute 
Yienne, only thirty-nine have been so far instructed. 

The comparison of those between the ages of six 
and twenty with those above twenty who can neither 
read nor \\Tite shows an advance, which will be not 
only maintained, but is in process of rapid increase, 
assisted by the regulation whicli adds a year's service 
in the army to the time of those who cannot reach 
this standard. 

The Minister of Public Instruction in a speech 
at Toulouse, in October, 1876, said that he hoped 
primary instruction would be within the reach of all 
children within three years. He has asked (1877) for 
a grant of £5,000,000, to be employed during the 
next five years in the building of schools. The sum 
^ annually allotted up to 1872 was only £40,000; it has 
been raised to £200,000, but this is not found sufficient. 



EMU0ATI0N, OD 

17,000 new schools are required where thf-re are no 
funds available, and if thej are to be built the State 
must build them. 

In Paris seventy-five schools were built between 
the years 1860 and 1870, giving accommodation for 
1,500 boys, 1,600 girls, and 8,600 infants. From 
June, 1871, to July, 1874, forty-eight new schools were 
opened, principally in the suburbs, twent}^ for boys, 
eighteen for girls, and ten for infants ; several more 
are in the course of erection. The total of the new 
schools opened in and around Paris from 1S71 to 1876 
can receive 28,760 scholars. 

A low average of education is quite compatible with 
a very high standard in some parts of the population. 
The peasants and country labourers are painfully illite- 
rate, the inhabitants of towns are highly educated ; and 
every town of any size in France has facilities for educa- 
tion, of which the inhabitants take full advantage ; and 
in the country schools instruction relating to farm-work, 
the management of animals, the cultivation of a garden, 
and the proper treatment of fruit-trees, enters largely 
into the ordinary teaching. 

In the horticultural portion of the show at Chartres, 
in June, 1877, were exhibited the copy-books of children 
from some of the schools in the department of Eure et 
Loir. They contained descriptions of the various 
methods of budding and grafting fruit-trees, of the 
various kinds of wheat grown in the district, the 
insects noxious and otherwise, the different grasses, &c., 
the whole illustrated by the drawings of the pupils, 



56 



EDUCATION, 



very clearly written and drawn. The pupils varied in 
age between ten and thirteen, and if these books are any- 
thing like a fair representation of the state of rural edu- 
cation in France, it must be far above that of England, 
and it was not a few books that were exhibited, but a 
Ja.rge table w^as covered with them. At the agricultural 
meeting at Paris in February, 1877, the plan of a parish in 
Burgundy was exhibited drawn up by the schoolmaster, 
in w^hich the nature of the soil on the little plot round 
the household of each pupil w^as explained, and the 
pupils were taught the most suitable methods of culti- 
vating that particular patch of ground. 

The most complete account we have of this kind of 
education is given by the Vicomte Charles d'Hedouville, 
who describes the system pursued in the canton of St. 
Pizier, in the department of the Haute Marne, and 
which has been at work since 1873. The Conseil 
General de la Haute Marne — what we should call 
the County Board — published, in 1872, an elementary 
book on agriculture, called " An Agricultural Cate- 
chism, suitable for the schools in the Haute ^Marne." 
After the holidays in the month of October, the educa- 
tional committee informs the schoolmasters what lessons 
in the catechism are to be prepared during the winter for 
examination in the spring: generally ten are selected, form- 
ing about fifty pages of printed matter. These lessons 
are to be prepared by the pupils of the two upper forms : 
writing the lessons from dictation, and working out the 
arithmetical problems connected with the lessons are 
done during the ordinary school hours ; the special study 



EDUCATION. 57 

of tlie agricultural portion of the work is taken out of 
the ordinary school-hours, or on the half-holidays. It is 
not found that this extra work interferes with the 
ordinary school-tasks, as the pupils of the schools in St. 
Dizier satisfy the inspectors fully as well as do those of 
the schools where the agricultural education is not 
attended to so much, or not at all. 

The degree of success attending this teaching varies 
of course with the skill and knowledge of the masters. 
Some teach the boys to distinguish between the useful 
and the useless plants in the neighbourhood; they form 
collections of those cultivated, the grasses most service- 
able, the weeds, the medicinal herbs, and those that are 
poisonous ; these are collected in bunches, duly labelled, 
and kept in a case, and are renewed yearly as a succession 
of new pupils follows those who leave. Some have 
specimens of the various soils and subsoils ; seeds of the 
crops ; hemp and flax in their different stages of growth 
and preparation ; sugar-beet preserved in spirit, with its 
different stages of progress, from the raw root to its out- 
come in sugar, &c., &c. Few villages have elaborated a 
system so perfect as that of St. Dizier, but most through 
France are working in the same direction, and as two or 
three years make all the difference in the education of 
children, that very short period of time may wholly 
change the educational condition of the French peasantry. 

When the examinations are completed rewards are 
given, both to the masters who have been most success- 
ful and to the pupils who have passed the best. In the 
latter case, the reward is a savings-bank book, with ten 



58 EDUCATION. 

francs to the credit of the boy. They began at St. 
Dizier by promising two prizes to the masters and ten 
to the boys, but the zeal of the masters and the success 
of the boys have been so great, that this spring (1877) 
they have given five prizes to masters and sixteen to 
the boys. 

Each department in France has a sej)arate work 
published for its special use ; all these books contain a 
general statement of the geography of France, and then 
the more complete geography, and a short history of the 
department. The geography describes the formation 
and nature of the soil, the watercourses, the climate, the 
population, &c. ; and has engra^dngs of the chief objects 
of interest. 

Climate. ^hc climate of France is too large a subject to be 
treated of in a few lines ; it varies from the j^erpetual sum- 
mer of the shores of the Mediterranean to the winter of 
many months in the Jura ; but there are some j^oints which 
may be noticed, having direct reference to the districts 
growing corn and rearing cattle. In the west frosts are 
light — indeed, in some parts unknown : on the north of 
Erittany the winters are as mild as those in Ital}', but 
rougher and more damp. All along the north fruits ripen 
in a way we should hardly expect to see, except in a 
more southern hititude. Paris receives its supph' of 
melons as freely from Xormandy as from the south. 
With the exception of Flanders, Xormandy, and Brittany, 
the air is very much drier than in England, more light, 
pure, and elastic, and rain dries up very quickly. 



CLIMATE. 59 

Farther inland, in tlie centre, frosts are very sharp, and 
come both later in the spring, and reappear earlier in 
the autumn, than in the northern provinces, and when 
they do come in the spring, they do immense damage. 
The Government returns for 1872 estimate the loss by 
frosts at £2,000,000, and this is probably not above the 
annual average. The chief suffering falls upon the central 
districts ; more than half the loss, indeed, is set down 
for the three departments of the Cher, Loiret, and Haute 
Loire, and one-fourth to frosts occurring in June. In 
June, 1873, the walnuts all through central France 
were black from a frost in May. Farmers have a not 
unnatural dread of the effects of frosts on spring corn, and 
dare not sow their barley before April, though, probably, 
if they would put it in in March, it might be forward 
enough by May not to suffer from these frosts. Storms 
of hail during the summer months are more frequent 
and much more severe in France than in England : the 
estimated damage from them in the return of 1872 is 
put at nearly £3,000,000. These hailstorms occur during 
the four summer months : crops are completely thrashed 
out by them, and sometimes absolutely forced into the 
ground, as though a troop of cavalry had been over 
them, and young stock are killed by them. It is again 
the centre that suffers most, very nearly £2,000,000 
out of the three being put down to the central depart- 
ments : the north feels them very little. Eain falls in 
torrents in France, in a way in which we have no 
example in England, and this in almost every summer, 
and not in one part of France only, but very generally 



60 CLIMATE, 

through the country. The amount of rain, as taken by a 
gauge, is a very unsafe guide as to the moisture of a 
country. Many parts of France have much more rain 
than Normandy, and yet suffer from drought, while the 
pastures of Normandy are green, and growing all the 
year round. 

Corn. The present extent of the territory of France is 
- 13,2000,000 acres. More than one-fourth of this area, 
37,500,000 acres, is sown with corn, of one sort or 
another, every year 

The proportion in 1872 was : — 

Wheat and Rye... 23,500,000, aU available for liiimau food, 23,500,000 

Barley 2,800,000, | used ditto 1,000,000 

Buckwheat 1,700,000, f ditto ditto 1,200,000 

Maize and Millet 1,600,000, \ ditto ditto 800,000 

Oats 7,900,000, none 



37,500,000 2(3,500,000 



Thus one-fifth of the whole soil is devoted to the 
growth of corn for human food; besides which there 
are 800,000 acres growing beans, peas, and pulse, 
largely used, probably to the extent of two-thirds, 
for the same purpose ; and 2,900,000 acres of potatoes, 
half of which are so employed, and ^\(i yield of more 
than 1,000,000 acres of chestnuts, giving 22,000,000 
bushels, of which 15,000,000 are used as a substitute for 
corn-food over a large part of the country. Thus nearly 
29,000,000 acres are devoted to supplying corn-food or 
its substitutes, supplemented by 15,000,000 bushels of 
chestnuts. 



CORN. 61 

The comparison of tliis with the corn-growth of 
England is noteworthy. The area of Great Britain 
and Ireland is 77,800,000 acres, and the land sown with 
corn of all kinds is 11,000,000, as against 37,000,000 
acres in France. Wheat and rye, the only corn-crops 
eaten to any extent in Great Britain, occupy 3,600,000 
acres, as against 26,500,000 of edible corn-crops in 
Prance. Our people eat very few beans and peas, and 
make no bread or porridge from chestnut fiour ; the 
French certainly eat half the produce of their 2,900,000 
acres of potatoes, and we do not eat all the produce of 
our 1,400,000. 

This supply of corn-food, or its substitutes, suffices 
for the consumption of the French. It is true that the 
importations exceed the exportations ; as in the six 
years, 1869 to 1874, the first reached £23,500,000, 
and the second only £14,000,000, a difference of 
£9,500,000, equal to £1,500,000 a year; but the use 
of wheat for manufacturing purposes amounts to at 
least double that sum, viz., £3,000,000 ; it is even 
estimated by some people to reach to £5,000,000 
yearly. Of the £23,500,000 imported in these six 
years, more than £14,000,000 were paid in one year 
to meet the deficiency of the bad crop of 1871. The 
form which the importations and exportations take is 
favourable to the French ; they import raw corn from 
ihe Black Sea, and they export very fine flour, thus 
gainiDg the profit on the manufacture. The French 
grow amply enough corn for their consumption. 



62 CORN. 

Wheat. Tj^g i^g-(- returns published, those of 1873, give the 
acreage under wheat as 17,500,000 acres, and the pro- 
duce 2 1 quarters per acre; hut this is above the average, 
the crop of 1872 having been exceptionally good. The 
ordinary average is two quarters, or two quarters and 
two bushels, as against the English average of three- 
and-a-half quarters, or three quarters two bushels. 
North of the Loire and in Vendee, wherever wheat is 
grown for the market, and not for home use, the 
largest crops are obtained; and in Flanders from five 
up to seven quarters are by no means uncommon, 
five quarters being very general. In the south the 
yield falls as low as nine bushels, even in some places 
six bushels. It is to be presumed that farmers have 
found their account in working for so miserable a 
result ; but the charges on land are now so increased, 
and labour has become so costly, that, in face of the 
supply of wheat from America, it is asserted that where 
two quarters as a minimum cannot be groAvn, there 
wheat must be abandoned. 

The land under wheat has continuously increased 
for the last fifty years ; in 1820 it was under 12,000,000 
acres, with an average yield of only eleven bushels to 
the acre; it is now 17,500,000, with an average of 
over sixteen bushels. 

^^'^' Eye is diminishing; it was grown on 9,000,000 acres 
in 1840, and on only 6,000,000 in 1872, and 1,000,000 
out of the six was sown with a mixture of Avheat and 
rye, Avhich produces a bigger crop than either grain 



CORN. C3 

so^vn separately on tlie same ground would ; and, curi- 
ously enough, the rye ripens later and the wheat earlier 
together than the same crops do separately in ad- 
joining fields. The yield from the 6,000,000 equals 
that of the 9,000,000 of 1840. Much of the land now 
sown with rye would carry wheat quite well if better 
farmed ; but the wheat, with the extra cost of culti- 
vation, would not pay as well as the rye ; it is grown 
on many highly-managed farms for the sake of the 
straw, which is useful in many ways ; from it the 
binders of the sheaves are always made. 

The area under barley has decreased 300,000 acres Barley, 
between 1840 and 1872, and it will probably decrease 
still more as it becomes less and less used as an article 
of food; the produce has greatly increased, and the 
quality has very greatly improved. In 1840 the yield per 
acre was fifteen bushels, in 1872 it was twenty- one bushels ; 
the price in 1840 was 20s. per quarter, in 1872 it was 27s., 
and both the yield per acre and the money -value have 
increased since 1872 ; the gross money-value in 1840 
was £5,500,000, it is now nearly £10,000,000. There is 
now a rapid and yearly increasing improvement in the 
quality of the French barley, the farmers aiming at a pro- 
duce fit to compete with that grown in England, and they 
are abundantly successful in their aim. Until recently 
French barley was fit only for grinding and feeding 
purposes ; it has increased quite two pounds per bushel 
in weight, and is superior to the English barley in the 
fineness of its skin and the paleness of its colour. 



64 CORN. 

Oats. 'j'j^e area sown with oats has not increased, but they, 
like all other corn, show a large increase in yield ; from 
eighteen bushels to the acre in 1840, it has increased 
to twenty- seven bushels. 

The persistence of the small French farmers in 
growing corn with such a poor return can, perhaps, be 
accounted for by their desire to produce all that they 
want on their own land, without putting their hands in 
their pockets for money. On the mountains of the Jura, 
and on the uplands of central France, they grow wheat, 
and get back nine bushels from a sowing of three bushels, 
when the same land would produce good herbage, and 
enable them to keep cows whose milk would buy them 
not only all the corn they want in the markets of the 
plain, but three times as much as they grow now. But 
then they would have to part with money, after receiving 
a great deal more, no doubt ; but once money in their 
purses, it pains them to see it go out. A writer says of 
the peasants : " If I give them a five-franc piece, and 
ask them for two back, they think I am robbing them." 

Kitchen ^\\^ m'owth of kitchcn-s^ardcn and fruit produce in 

Gardens. ^ ^ ^ *■ 

France is so large that it quite ceases to be in the 
category of small undertakings ; the last returns, 1S73, 
show that a million and a quarter of acres grow green 
vegetables. The grapes of Thomery, the broccoli of 
EoscofF, the asparagus of Argenteuil, the green fruits of 
Touraine, the melons of Vaucluse, where 8,000 grow on 
an acre, are found in their season in every capital of 
Europe, and there is hardly a grocer's shop in any town 



KITCHEN . GARDENS. 65 

of Europe but has its stock of Frencli dried and pre- 
served fruits and vegetables. It is from France that 
our markets are supplied with asparagus in February, 
and with those delicate lettuces during the winter, at 
the moderate price of Is. 6d. a dozen retail, which by their 
clever packing and prompt delivery are as crisp and 
fresh as though just cut from the garden. The early 
peas and French beans come from Algiers, but the 
broccoli is from Brittany, and the asparagus, lettuces, 
and carrots from the immediate neighbourhood of Paris 
— indeed, to a large extent from gardens within its walls. 
Over 6,000 persons are here engaged in the business, 
the half of whom are the masters and their wives, and 
1,200 are boys and girls. The rent paid for the land is 
from £36 to £48 per acre according to situation, but to 
command this rent the garden must be provided with a 
well, with pumping machinery and tanks. 

An ordinary- sized garden is about an acre and a half, 
the largest being two acres and a half, and the plant to 
carry on a business of the smallest size costs nearly £500; 
there must be 133 glasses for striking cuttings, 400 glazed 
frames, 2,500 large bell-glasses, 680 straw mats, 400 
blocks for the frames and glasses, besides the spades and 
hoes and rakes, barrows and baskets for taking the 
produce to market; and there must be a horse and 
cart, with harness for the well. The value of the plant 
in and round Paris is estimated at £300,000, and the 
cost of repair and maintenance in a small garden 
will be from £70 to £80 each year. The manure 
costs 2d. for each bell-glass, and 2s. 8d. for each frame 



66 KITCHEN GARDENS. 

yearly; the total cost for manure is estimated at over 
£50,000. 

The regular workm.en earn an average wage in 
money of Is. 7d. per day, winter and summer, and are, 
besides, boarded and lodged; their cost is reckoned at 
3s. per day. Extra men are paid at the rate of 
3 Jd. per hour ; women, 2jd. Most of these men 
come from the Nivernais and Burgundy ; they are not 
tempted to the business by the amount of earnings, 
which are by no means high for France, but they 
accept them in order to learn a business in which they 
hoj)e some day to establish themselves. The work is 
very hard; the master rises between one and two on 
most nights of the year, calls up the household, starts 
the cart off to market in charge of the wife, who 
ihanages all the sales. He then takes a little rest, but 
by four or five is at work, and so keeps, with intervals 
for meals, until eight or nine in summer, and until 
dusk in winter. The hardest work is watering in dry 
weather ; two men are then constantly employed, from 
eleven in the morning until eight at night, with an 
interval of an hour and a half Each man makes 150 
journeys in the hour; that is 1,125 in the seven and a 
half hours. He carries two watering-pots, weighing 
when full close upon half a hundredweight. 

Something of this sort is going on near every large 
town and many small ones. At Amiens, vegetables 
have been grown in the marshy and boggy land from 
before the thirteenth centmy, while we in England had 
not a cabbage for hundreds of years later. This land 



KITCHEN- GARDENS. ,67 

sells at from £200 . to £240 per acre ; it is cliiefiy 
rented at from £9 to £12 per acre. It is laid out in 
strips, divided by small canals about two yards wide, 
through which flow the waters of the Somme; these 
strips may be any length, but are not more than two 
yards wide, so that water may be thrown over them with 
a scoop. The refuse of the vegetables is thrown into 
the canals, which are cleaned out every year in March. 
There are about 250 acres here, under this- cultivation; 
and a note furnished by the Mayor of Amiens shows 
the y-early produce of these 250 acres to be nearly 
£33,000, about £130 per acre.- The cabbages often 
weigh thirty, forty, and fifty pounds; the beet twenty 
to twenty- five pounds ; the large black radishes twelve to 
twenty pounds, and the turnips twelve to fifteen pounds. 
This business would greatly increase if the cost of 
transport could be reduced, for the capacity of France, 
to grow vegetables is unlimited. The Western Eailway 
takes perishable articles to Honfleur and Havre cheaply, 
and a large business is done ; and the Ehenish railways 
take similar goods by express trains at the same tarifi* 
as by goods trains. The French have generally lowered 
their scale, but it is still too high, and the reduction is 
only allowed on quantities of half a ton; this represents 
twenty -five to thirty dozen cauliflowers (one dozen 
hampers), or thirty baskets of lettuces, of one hundred 
each. Few dealers can send so many in one consignment. 
A reduction of 50 per cent, in the charge for carriage 
and for quantities of one hundredweight, with the return 
of empties by goods train, would enable French vege- 
r 2 ' ' 



68 IMPLEMENTS. 

tables to be sold in every town from tbe Ehine to the 
Baltic. Even as it is, the trade is by no means un- 
important ; but as a dozen large cauliflowers, weighing 
twenty-two pounds, worth 4s. to 6s. at Paris, cost 10s.. 
to lis. 6d. at Berlin, 13s. to 15s. at Konigsberg, and 
17s. to 18s. 6d. at St. Petersburg, the consumption 
cannot increase. There is very unnecessary delay also, 
and the blame is with the French. Cologne to Berlin 
is farther than from Paris to Cologne, and yet the 
journey is done in two days, while it takes five from 
Paris to Cologne; goods go to Hamburg quicker by 
steam from Havre than .by rail ; bills drawn against 
consignments at six weeks' date have often been pre- 
sented for payment the week following the arrival of 
the goods ; and it takes less time to cross the ocean 
to America than to go across France and Germany. A 
ten days' journey from Brittany to Cologne makes the 
trade impossible, and Italy is competing successfully 
with France for the German business. 

Flowers, Flowcrs, Icss than vegetables, are farm produce; 
but a cultivation which occupies 1,500 people round 
Paris only, has a certain importance. It is reckoned 
that 6,000,000 bouquets of violets are sold in this 
capital yearly for the sum of £25,000. 

finpio- " In a climate in which the sun has power to burn 

up weeds with only a scratching of the soil, and in a 
territory where harsh, obstinate, churlish clays are 
almost unknown, perfection of implements, and great 



inents 



IMPLEMENTS. 69 

powers of tillage, are not so necessary as in the less 
favourable climate and soil of England." — Arthur Young, 

Not being "so necessary," improved implements 
have made very slow progress in France ; and it is 
only during the last twenty-five years that they can be 
said to have become at all general. The first efforts 
were directed to those instruments used in the actual 
cultivation of the land, such as ploughs, harrows, rollers, 
&c. ; the next to those used in preparing the produce 
for market, or utilising it — as thrashing, winnowing, 
and screening machines, chaff and root cutters, &c. ; and 
lastly, those which assisted labour — as haymaking, 
drilling, mowing, and reaping-machines. 

The use of these improved implements was for a 
long time limited to ploughs and such-like, but has now 
very generally extended to thrashing and screening 
machines ; and of all these, the French makers supply 
the largest proportion, both of those worked by steam 
and those worked by horse-power. Mowers, reapers, 
and drills are still mostly of English or American make, 
though the French are entering the field against us, 
with all the advantage of starting with our models 
before them. The English and Americans at present 
hold their own, because they do so much of their work 
by machinery, and on a large scale ; and this counter- 
balances the extra cost of import duty and carriage, 
which in the case of a drill of Smyth's amounts to £3, 
and in that of a reaping-machine to about £5 5s. 

The cost of the new implements was a great 
hindrance to their spread, as French farmers do not 



70 IMPLEMENTS. 

put out money readily. " Buy one of Smyth's drills/' 
said an agent to a farmer. " No/' said the farmer ; 
"it costs so much money." "It shall cost you nothing/' 
said the agent ; " only give me the value of the seed 
it will save you in three years." " Why, at that rate 
I should be paying you more than you ask me ; " and 
so the negotiation came to nothing. This actually 
occurred ; but a sale was at last concluded, after the 
farmer had lost a couple of years in hesitation. The 
Minister of Agriculture stated recently (1876) that the 
general use of drills would save £600,000 per annum 
to the country. 

Mowing and reaping machines are being used, be- 
cause labour is so much dearer than it was. A man 
momng corn gets 30s. a week, besides his food and 
two bottles of wine a day, and he will mow only \\ 
acres in a day, often not doing his work well. There is 
plenty of evidence that the use of these macliines is 
extending; it was reckoned that in IS 74 there were 
3,000 in the eleven depai-tments of the north-east of 
France alone. In all England there are 80,000, and the 
harv^est of the whole kingdom could be got do^Mi with 
them in twelve days. France is far from this at present, 
but, judging from the long lists of advertisements in 
the farming papers, and the numbers shown at all the 
exhibitions, she is progressing fast towards it. The 
number of machines and implements exhibited is double 
what it was a very few years ago. At Arras, in 1868, 
there were 600; in 1876, 1,400, worth £20,000; in 
July, 1876, 1,250 were sho^^Tl at Eheims; the number 



IMPLEMENTS, -71 

at Quimper, in South Brittany, was 290 in 1868, arid 
667 in 1876. 1,741 were at the Paris show in 1877, of 
which plenty were thrashing-machines, bnt none either 
mowers or reapers. At Monhns, in Bourbonnais, in 
May, 1877, there were 1,000 entries from 100 ex- 
hibitors, almost all French ; indeed, the portable engines 
were wholly French, and what is more, they were all 
marked sold. At Chartres, in June, 1877, there were 
over 600 machines and implements for out- door farm- 
work, few of which were not of French manufacture. 

The French-made implements are not so well finished 
as the English and American, except, perhaps, the 
ploughs, but they are cheaper. The English and Ameri- 
can take the prizes at the shows, but the local makers 
are getting most of the orders. Their productions 
answer the farmers' purpose, and in principle they are 
" adapted " from the models of their competitors, and 
they have this advantage, that being made on the spot 
(for almost every town has its implement manufactory, 
and the number of small makers is increasing year by 
year), any repairs can be readily undertaken by the maker 
of the machine himself. M. Drouyn de THuys has 
invented a phrase which is continually repeated- — 
*' Battles are now won by artillery; implements are the 
artillery of agriculture ; " and every influence is brought 
to bear upon the subject of .their increase and improve- 
ment. They are bought by committees, and sold by 
auction at a loss to members of a society ; and in July, 
1876, the Minister of Agriculture sent a circular through 
the country, advising the purchase by the county boards 



72 ENCLOSURES. 

in the rural districts of improved implements, which, 
should be sold even at a loss, or should be hired out 
to small farmers. It was shown that a reaping-machine 
with a driver could be kept at the expense of the board, 
which would repay itself by the charge for hiring. This 
suggestion has probably been adopted in more places 
than one, but it certainly has in the small village of 
Yezet, in the Haute Saone, where the board has pur- 
chased (June, 1877) one of Samuelson's reaping- 
machines. There are but 400 inhabitants in the village, 
and the properties are very small ; the peasant owners 
have engaged to have their harvesting done by the 
machine at 2s. 8d. per acre. The corn can be cut at a 
saving of three-fourths of the present price. £800 has 
been voted by the board ; and should the machine 
bought answer expectations, half a dozen more will be 
purchased, and other machines added, which may be of 
general service. 

Hand thrashiug-machines are exhibited at the 
shows, and some are bought; they are ingenious and 
work well enough, and are cheap, but the labour is too 
excessive. Moderate machines of this class would find 
a good sale, to be moved by horse-power ; the English 
are too costly. One of our large EngUsh firms has 
taken a steam thrashing-machine from show to show for 
the last four years, without getting an order for a single 
one. 

Encio- " There is scarcely a circumstance concernino^ this 
great kingdom which is so grossly misrepresented, both 



sures. 



ENCLOSURES, , 73 

in common books and in common conversation, as the 
subject of enclosures. The idle loungers that write the 
guides and journeys to Paris and Bome would make 
their readers believe that if you turn a horse loose at 
Calais he may run to Bayonne without an enclosure to 
stop him. France is certainly much less enclosed than 
England ; but the travellers who take the common 
route only from Calais to Paris, Dijon, Lyons, and 
Chambery, can have no more idea of the enclosures in 
that kingdom than if they had stayed at home in 
Portman and Grosvenor Squares. The principal dis- 
tricts of enclosure which I viewed are all Brittany, the 
western part of Normandy with the northern part to 
the Seine, most of Anjou and Maine as far as near 
Alen^on. To the south of the Loire an immense range 
of country is enclosed ; Bas Poitou, Touraine, Sologne, 
Berri, Limousin, the Bourbonnais,' and much of the 
Nivernais ; and from Mont Cenis, in Burgundy, to St. 
Poncin, in Auvergne, all is enclosed. There is some 
open country in the Angoumois, and the eastern part 
of Poitou, but more is enclosed. Quercy is partly 
so ; but the whole district of the Pyrenees, from Per- 
pignan to Bayonne, extending to Auch and almost to 
Toulouse, is all (waste excepted) thickly enclosed. This 
contiguous mass of country comprehends not less than 
11,000 square leagues out of the 26,000 contained in 
the whole kingdom, and if to this we add the consider- 
able districts in other parts of Prance which are enclosed, 
they will, beyond a doubt, raise the total to a full half 
of the kingdom." Since Young's time waste lands 



74 HORSES. 

have been largely brouglit into cultivation ; that open 
land in Anjou and Maine, over which he could ride for 
days, is now all cultivated and all enclosed, as are the 
newly -made pastures in l^ivernais. The Pays de Caux 
is enclosed much as is the wold country of Lincolnshire, 
with small straight quickset hedges, and the discussions 
about the best methods of planting and keeping in order 
the liA^e fences are as general as they are in England. 
The proportion of cultivated land enclosed in France is 
probably as large as it is in Grreat Britain. 10,000,000 
acres have probably been enclosed since Young's 
time. 

Horses. 'j'j^g number of horses in France may be taken at 
3,000,000, of which it is computed that 1,080,000 are 
under four years old, 365,000 are fifteen years old and 
upwards, 352,000 are entire horses, 600,000 are brood 
mares, and 303,000 inefficient from accident or disease, 
leaving 300,000 from four to fourteen years old and 
sound, of which 81,000 are in the army. 

Of these about 3,000,000 horses, 1,800,000 are 
heavy draught horses, 600,000 to 700,000 are light, 
and from 400,000 to 500,000 medium. It is from these 
last two classes only that horses for the army can be 
taken. The army used to require 70,000 horses ; but 
to fill up the regiments, as re-organised after the war, 
she has called for 90,000. The estimates of the 
Minister of War for 1878 reach to 110,000 for the army, 
and 13,000 for the gendarmes; of this number the 
Algerian regiments take 16,000. 



HORSES, 75 

The price (for 1878) is put at £4G for heavy cavahy 
horses, £40 for dragoons, and £36 for the light cavalry, 
which prices are quite £4 per horse above previous values. 
Officers' horses are £10 higher for each sort. The price 
of troopers' horses for Algerian regiments is £28, for 
officers £32. 

In case of war from 250,000 to 260,000 additional 
would be wanted, of which 176,000 would be called for 
at once — viz., 98,000 for heavy draught, and 78,000 for 
the saddle and artillery. To supply this want there are 
only 219,000 of all sorts of a serviceable age and sound. 

In order to render all horses in the country promptly Registra- 
available, a decree was adopted by the National 
Assembly on August 1st, 1874, which orders that at a 
date to be fixed in each year, a commission named by 
the general commanding each military division through 
France shall visit every commune, and in the presence 
of the mayor shall proceed to the examination and 
classification of all the horses and mules in the com- 
mune of the age of six years old and upwards, with the 
exception of those already ill the public service. For 
1877 the date fixed was from the 15th of May to the 
15th of June. A list of the horses so examined, with 
the names and residences of the owners, is sent to the 
recruiting office of the . district, and a copy of the list is 
left with the mayors. Owners of horses not presenting 
them at the dates fixed are liable to a penalty varying 
from £2 to £40. The horses are thus classified : — 1st, 
those of 1 5 hands 1 inch and over, for heavy cavalry ; 



76 HORSES. 

2iid, tliQse from 14' 3 to 15'1 for dragoons ; 3rd, from 
14*2 to 14*3 for hussars ; 4th, heavy horses from 14" 2 
to 15'1 for artillery drivers; 5th, lighter ones of the 
same height for the traces; 6th, heavy horses of 14" 2 
and under for baggage wagons; 7th, mules of 14' 1 and 
under, for any purpose to which they can be apphed. 
Entire horses are only classed in the 6th category. This 
registration is. a great nuisance ; it sometimes lasts five 
days ; the men may have to come five or ten miles and 
bring half a dozen horses with them, when they are 
wanted at home. The examination only lasts a few 
minutes, but the delay is a grievance. The brood mares 
are very irregularly presented. 

''On an order to mobihse being issued, the com- 
mission meets at the appointed spot. An ofiicer from 
each regiment requiring horses attends, as do also a 
certain number of men belonging to the cavahy of the 
Territorial army. The horses are all brought in at a 
certain hour, and distributed as required and as pre- 
arranged. Each officer then goes off mth his contingent, 
the Territorial cavabymen taking charge of the horses 
on the road. Thus one of the great difficulties of 
mobilisation is completely overcome. The arrangements 
al'e now so perfect that in the course of the six days 
allowed for mobilisation all corps would be supplied 
with what they require without any fuss, for ever}^ 
detail has been carefully worked out." {Ihnes, Septem- 
ber 15, 1876.) Compensation is settled by a committee 
of proprietors. 

These horses of various breeds through France are 



HORSES. 11 

reared to meet regular and certain markets, and as long 
as these markets continue open the supply is not likely to 
fall off ; indeed, at the present rate of profit it is almost 
certain to increase, but this does not satisfy the great and 
pressing want of the French army. Horses for heavy 
draught, as forage and baggage wagons, can always be 
had, and also lighter horses for artillery, but there is an ab- 
solute and serious deficiency in the supply for the cavalry 
of all arms. This deficiency has been partly met by the 
use of Algerian -bred horses, but the soldiers don't like 
them, and commanders of regiments pray to be delivered 
from them. Useful and suitable in Africa, thev are 
troublesome in France ; quiet at pickets and docile in 
their native country, they become unmanageable on the 
different food and in the different climate of France. 
{E. Gat/ot, late Director of the Haras du Fin and 
Pompadour.) 

There is no sale, or a sale so small that it need not Breeding. 
be considered, for such horses as the army wants, out- 
side the army. Formerly, in the absence of roads and 
public conveyances, riding was a necessity for numbers 
of people all over the country ; but since the general 
improvement in the means of communication, no one 
rides in France except those few people who take an 
airing in the Bois de Boulogne at Paris. Country 
people prefer harnessing a good, stout, useful horse 
to a covered cart, such a one as they can make use of 
on the farm, and sell at a fair price when they want 
to part with him. No encouragement is therefore 



78 HORSES. 

wanted for the kind of liorse for wliich there is so 
general a demand ; but public provision must be made 
for the supply of that kind which only one buyer will 
purchase, and this provision is attempted by the 
G-overnment of France, by the establishment of a 
breeding-stud, of depots for sires, and by the payment 
of premiums, and the giving of prizes at horse-shows. 

studs. A law published on June 2, 1874, settles the 
administration of the studs thus : — '' A superior council 
is established, consisting of twenty-four members named 
by the President of the Eepublic, vvdio hold office for 
nine years, but which is renewable by thirds every 
three years ; it is to meet at least twice in each year, 
to give advice upon the expenditure, on the rules that 
■ are to govern the management of the studs, on the 
regulations of the prizes, races, shows, &c. ; to receive 
reports from public bodies about horses, petitions, &c. ; 
and to report upon the same." 

The working staff of the studs consists of one head 
Inspector- General, and one other Inspector for each of 
the six divisions into which the countrj^ is partitioned. 
There are twenty-two depots for sires, some of the 
divisions having three, some four ; one training-school 
for the education of officers and servants in all branches 
of the treatment of horses, ^Y\i]l properly -qualified 
professors, and no officer is to receive an appointment 
at any[of the studs unless he shall have gone through 
the course at the school, and have obtained a certificate 
of proficiency. 



HORSES, 79 

There is only one breeding- stud, and that is at 
Pompadour, in Limousin ; it is, indeed, the re-establish- 
ment of one existing formerly, and is to contain sixty 
mares, and to be devoted exclusively to the production 
of Arab and Anglo -Arab horses, thoroughbreds. 

At the passing of the above law, the Government 
sires numbered 1,060 ; they are to be increased at the 
rate of 200 a year until they' reach 2,500 ; they will 
be chosen from breeds best adapted to those existing 
in the country where they are to stand, but will contain 
the greatest number of blood horses possible. 

There has been rather a passion for the Anglo- 
Norman, in consequence of its success ; but it would be 
a mistake to force its introduction everywhere, and 
towards the south the horses must be lighter, Arabs 
or Anglo- Arabs. 

A sum of £27,000 is to be given annually in 
prizes ; a yearly addition is to be made to this sum 
to the extent of £4,000, until the amount reaches 
£60,000 ,per annum ; this is to be applied in premiums 
to sires, brood-mares, fillies, and colts, to be approved 
by the officers of the stud. £2,000 is to be specially 
allotted to Arabs and Anglo-Arabs. 

The Government studs and depots were first estab- 
lished in 1666, but were discontinued during the 
Revolutionary period. Napoleon set them up again 
in 1806, and as they have been maintained ever 
since, it must be supposed they have sufficiently 
answered the purpose intended, though complaints 
of their inefficiency have been heard. Breeders who 



80 HORSES. 

have relied upon finding a ready buyer of the produce 
from the stud sires, say that the army only accepts 
one-fifth, or even a good deal less ; another fifth may 
find a profitable sale elsewhere, while more than half are 
left on hand, useless for farm work, or almost anything 
else. This complaint receives confirmation from the 
report made as to the number of mares sent to the 
State studs from 1862 to 1869, both inclusive, and of 
the purchases made for the army in the same years 
in the department of the Orne. The mares sent 
amounted to 15,289, the purchases to 3,852, and this 
amount was swelled by unusually heavy purchases in 
1867, which were double those of ordinary years. In 
consequence, the number of mares sent fell from 3,213, 
the number in 1860, to 1,486 in 1871, and there was a 
gradual decrease from year to year; since 1871 there 
has been an increase, and in 1873 the number of mares 
sent reached 2,425. Orne is one of the largest breeding 
departments of France, the number of mares within its 
limits, in 1872, being 38,000. 

The report from the department of the Manche, 
dated August, 1875, states that in the season of that 
year 83 sires belonging to the State, from fifteen stations, 
covered 6,206 mares ; Q^ sires certificated by Government 
covered 4,692 mares ; and 6 authorised sires 367 mares; 
the number of mares in the Manche was 50,000 ac- 
cording to the census of 1872. The purchases . for the 
army in this department in 1874 were 1,366, at a cost 
of £50,520, and from the 1st Januar}^ 1875, to date of 
report, 1,021, at a cost of £40,800; the horses bought 



HORSES, 81 

were five years old ; the maximum price for light 
cavalry is £28, for draught horses £40 ; the price in the 
estimates for 1878 is higher. It is certain that the 
Grovernment buys the .best horses for the studs, and that 
they are saperior to those in private hands, and that it 
charges a very low price for their use ; it pushes towards 
the production of a good saddle-horse, providing, at the 
same time, the best sires for draught in the countries 
where heavy horses are bred. The army selects tlie 
best saddle-horses that are offered at the regulation 
price, but they are not all good enough, and they are 
not available until they are four or five years old. The 
farmers find it pays better to breed a useful, sl^^rong 
animal, which they can sell as soon as it is weaned. • The 
purchasers of these sucklings work them at two years, 
so that there is little more than a year of the horse's life 
passed unprofitably. A saddle-horse earns nothing 
during the four years in which he is waiting for 
a market, and the " dead leaves " of the Grovernment 
studs too often cost more than they realise. 

The sires used in France are about 12,000; of these Sires. 
at present the State furnishes 1,060 ; those intended for 
getting saddle-horses are selected after a public trial. 
The Arabs and thoroughbreds are tested at a gallop over 
a flat course, the half-breds over a two-and-a-half mile 
course at a trot in saddle or in harness, or at a gallop 
over a mile and a quarter with eight fences. At Caen, 
in the autumn of 1870, GOO horses went through the 
trials ; they were rising four. The Government bought 

G 



82 HORSES. 

156. .The course was very heavy, but the distances 
were done at a good average speed. 

"Besides these 1,060, 700 other sires receive a certifi- 
cate after examination by public officers ; the remaining 
10,300 are considerably inferior to the 1,760, but they 
satisfy the ordinary breeders, too readily indeed, for 
rather than take the trouble to send their mares a few 
miles, they content themselves with making use of the 
nearest sire that may be at hand. The Government 
sires are insufficient for the wants of the country ; and at 
the meeting of the Societe des Agriculteurs, at Paris, in 
February, 1877, the following resolution, proposed by 
the section having charge of the question of horse 
breeding, was, after discussion, adopted by the general 
assembly : — 

" That a society of private individuals should be 
formed to provide sires in sufficient number to improve 
the breed of draught and saddle-horses wherever there 
may be a deficiency." 

Prussia. Other countries adopt the system of State studs. 

Prussia, before the late war, had 2,100 brood mares and 
1,823 sires in official hands. The smaller States of 
Germany more than 4,000 sires. 

Austria. Austria proper, besides the great breeding establish- 

ments of Piber and Eadautz, had in other localities 
1,700 to 1,800 sires. 

Hungary. Hungary swarms with Government horses. There 



HORSES. 83 

are four depots for sires, of wliich. there are 1,800 — viz., 
Alba Eegia, with 570 in four stations ; Nagy Koros, 
with 870, in six stations ; Szepsi St. Gyorgy, with 238 
in four stations ; and Yarasd, with 122 in two stations. 
During the season the sires visit 525 minor stations, 
and cover usually 63,000 mares. The charge is only 
from 2s. 6d. to 10s. for the greater number, and from 
10s. to 30s. for the best mares and for thoroughbreds. 
There are besides four stud farms for breeding — viz., 
Kisber, Babolna, Fagaras, and Mezohegyes. This last 
is said to occupy 45,000 acres, to have a stock of 2,000 
horses of various ages, and to turn out 130 to 140 young 
sires yearly. There are alsp about forty breeding studs 
in Hungary belonging to large landowners, and the 
total number of horses in the country by the last census 
was 2,158,000, on an area of 5,600 square leagues, or 
385 per square league, equal to 140 horses to every 
1,000 of the population. 

Eussia has 15,500,000 horses, perhaps 20,000,000, Russia, 
and keeps not less than 6,000 sires in the State studs. 

Governments may well be anxious about the supply 
of horses for the army, if the losses during the civil 
war in America are a true indication of the ordinary 
absorption in war time. Mr. Turner, head of the 
veterinary department, reported, on the 2nd of January, 
1864, that "35,070 horses barely supplied the total 
quantity necessary to keep up a cavalry force of 14,000 
men for a single year;" that is more than 2-|- horses 
per man per year. During this war the yearly 
g2 



84 HORSES. 

loss of horses was more tlian 2,000 above the yearly 
produce. 

Military authorities seem to be agreed that two 
horses are required for every five men in the field ; thus 
20,000 horses would be wanted for the cavalry, artillery, 
and train of an army of 50,000 men. 

Schools. The State also assists in the support of schools for 

training horses for the saddle and harness, and for 
teaching grooms and coachmen how horses ought to 
be treated, Ecoles de dressage. They are owned by 
private people, or by public bodies, often by towns or 
departments. The yearly payments amount to £500, 
£400, or £335, for the three ranks under which the 
establishments are classed. Each consists of a director, 
a sub-director, a riding-master, a driving-master, and a 
head groom, and there must be an apprentice for every 
two horses, who remains two years in the school. 
These apprentices are lodged, fed, and taught, free of 
charge, but towards their support the State pays £11 
yearly for each, and gives them prizes of from £8 to 
£12 when they leave, if they pass satisfactory 
examinations. No school can receive the State allow- 
ance, unless the premises are adapted to give effect 
to the objects of the institution. The director is 
appointed by the minister, but he selects all his 
subordinates, and he may deal in horses. The charges 
for breaking-in horses, and for the riding and driving 
lessons, are to be approved by the minister, and a report 
of the horses in training is to be sent in monthly. 



HORSES. 85 

There are sixteen schools thus assisted with Govern- 
ment money, the principa.1 of which are at Caen and 
Seez, in Normandy, and there are nine others not 
receiving this assistance ; and besides these, payments 
may be made to private establishments which seem to 
deserve such encouragement. 

There are several shows during the year for made Shows. 
horses, the most important of which are in Normandy, 
at Caen, Falaise, and Alencon ; at each of these £480 is 
distributed in prizes, and usually from 100 to 125 
horses compete. At these country shows the horses 
are exhibited by breeders, but the grand show in Paris 
is supported almost wholly by dealers, and mostly from 
Normandy. Out of 297 horses entered for the April 
show, 1876, 271 were owned by dealers, one having 
sent as many as 80. The whole collection showed how 
much the taste for horses is limited in France to those 
who use them for display. It may be safely assumed 
that every horse was for sale, and every one would find 
a purchaser in Paris. There were some grand specimens 
of horses, both in pairs and for single harness, well 
broken and trained, but very few such as could be 
entered in our classes of hunters, park hacks, or as 
ladies' horses ; there were, indeed, some suitable for these 
purposes, but there seems too small a demand for them 
for dealers to train them for a market so limited ; and the 
demand for well-grown and well- trained harness horses 
is so great that every good horse is put into harness. 
There was, indeed, a class for saddle-horses, and two or 



86 HORSES. 

three well-broken and well-bred horses received prizes ; 
the harness-horses were also mounted, and it was easy 
to see that if there were any demand there wonld be a 
good snpply of good saddle-horses. It is a fact, how- 
ever, that outside the army no one rides in Prance. As 
might be expected from an exhibition of dealers' horses, 
there was too much fat. The driving generally "left 
much to be desired," the riding more, the attempts at 
tooling a four-in-hand still more ; and to an Enghsh- 
man, there was a want of smartness in the style of the 
grooms and coachmen, though there were some notable 
exceptions in all these cases. Our own shows at 
Islington are open to criticism, on the score of neat- 
ness in the grooms and attendants ; an amount of 
slovenry is permitted there which is not creditable 
either to exhibitors or managers. The French are 
decidedly progressing in this respect, and we may 
expect them soon to rank as nearly level with us in 
their attendants as they now do in their horses. 

There was some good clean jum^^ing at this show, 
and the whole wound up with an exhibitioD of some 
specimens of the kind of horses now bought for the 
army, and a very interesting carrousel executed by 
pupils from the cavalry school at Saumur upon 
thorough-bred horses, which showed, both on the 
part of the riders and of the horses, that there was 
capital material for making an excellent cavalry, and 
that the training was taking a right direction. 

Those who can recollect what the carriage and 
heavy cavalry horse was forty years ago in France, will 



HORSES. ^ 87 

recognise a great improvement. The big coarse head 
with the Eoman nose has gone ; the coat which by 
no amount of dressing could be got to shine, has been 
replaced by a skin as fine as velvet ; and the lumbering 
heavy gait has given place to an action with perhaps 
an exaggeration of light someness : there are pairs of 
" Steppairs '' in Paris, of Norman breed, which, if driven 
down Piccadilly, would cause every second passer-by to 
stop and wonder what country could produce such 
wonderful goers. 

At the spring show, in 1877, at Paris, there was a 
large increase in the entries, they amounted to 469, 
which was seventy-two above those of 1876, and the 
increase was wholly from private breeders, ninety-six 
having been sent by them against twenty-six in 1876. 

The chief horse-breeding countries are Brittany, Breeding. 
Normandy, and Picardy. The farmers must find the 
business an increasingly profitable one, and unless it 
interferes too much with that of other stock, which 
is also becoming naore profitable, the number of horses 
may be expected to increase. 

The comparison of exportations and importations 
of late years stands thus :■ — ■ 





Exportation. 


Importation. 


Excess of Exports 


1872 ... 


... 15,913 ... 


... 13,807 ... 


... 2,106 


1873 ... 


... 22,873 ... 


... 11,246 ... 


... 11,577 


1874 ... 


... 23,720 ... 


... 10,280 ... 


... 13,440 



Of this quantity England takes more than one- 
third, but of the 11,959 geldings exported in 1874, 



88 HORSES. 

England took 5,712, besides 1,669 mares. The liorses 
purcliased for our autumn manoeuvres are mostly 
Frencli horses, and our artillery and baggage -wagons 
are largely horsed with animals from France, which 
are mostly grey in colour, the worst colour that can 
be chosen for horses for any military purposes. 

The value of the horses exported has increased 
from about £200,000 in 1865-66 to about £600,000 
in 1873-74. 

During the three previous years, and the first 
six months of 1875, 74,385 horses w^ere exported: 
15,262 to Germany, 14,873 to Belgium, more than 
20,000 to England, 8,555 to Switzerland, the balance 
to other countries. 

Before 1870-72 Germany did not buy more than 
1,500 yearly, Belgium not 500, and England less than 
400. The horses recently exported to Belgium and 
Switzerland are certainly intended for Germany, which 
brings the German importations from France up to 
nearly 39,000, or about 13,000 yearly. During the 
same period of three years France imported from 
Germany 8,947 horses. Of the horses exported to 
Germany, 11,594 were mares, and 1,952 were sires; 
and 56,290 mules have been exported since the 
war. 

It would seem that with all the exertions made bv 
the French Government it is open to take army horses 
wdaere they can be got not of French breeds. In 
Ma}^ 1877, a lot of seventy were landed at Havre from 
La Plata, and fifty of them were bought for the army 



CATTLE, 89 

at prices running from £40 to £56 ; tlie others were 
refused, being under the standard for height. 

The return of 1873 shows the stock of cattle in Cattie. 
France to he 11,700,000, nearly the double of what 
it was in 1812; in 1840 it was under 10,000,000; 
in 1852, nearly 14,000,000 ; in 1862, under 13,000,000 ; 
but as we are to distrust this last return as being too 
favourable, it is probable that there was a larger falling 
off between 1852 and 1862 than these figures indicate. 
The loss of territory in 1871 caused a loss of stock to 
the extent of 500,000, so that it may be assumed, for 
the remainder of France, that there has been no 
material change between 1862 and 1873. 

6,700,000 head are in the forty departments of the 
north and east of France, and 5,000,000 in the forty- 
seven departments of the south and west. 

The number of breeds seems infinite, each little 
district having a variety differing in some small degree 
from those surrounding it, and claiming a superiority 
over every other ; but there are fifteen acknowledged 
races, of which the others are merely offshoots. Of 
these fifteen, nine are specially workers ; three specially " 
milkers ; one, that of Auvergne or Salers, considered 
extremely good all round, for work, for milk, and for 
meat ; one, the Comtoise or Femeline, nseful in all 
three, but not really very good in any ; and one only 
exclusively an animal for the butcher, the Maine. 

In addition to these local breeds, a certain number 
of cows are imported frcm Switzerland and from 



90 



CA TTLE. 



Holland, but the importations only exceed the exporta- 
tions by 50,000 bead : France rears enough cattle for 
her own wants. 

The destiny of all this stock is to be eaten, but 
cattle in France have much to do in earning their keep 




COPLAND -^ 

AUTEUGXE, OH SALERS OX. 



by work or by supplying milk before they reach the 
shambles. 

With the single exception of a tract which includes 
Maine, parts of Anjou and of Eastern Brittany, and 
in which there are 1,000,000 head, labour and milk 
are the first thing's demanded of cattle in France. In 
the south it is almost wliolly labour that is required; 
in the north chiefly milk, what labour is done there by 



CATTLE. 91 

oxen is done by animals bonglit outside the region, not 
reared in it. 

The three objects of labour, milk, and meat required 
— the two first being essential and paramount — render 
improvement, in the sense of giving more meat, one of 
considerable difficulty. The English shorthorn is the 
agent in the improvement where it has been attempted 
by crossing, and has found it an easy matter in Maine, 
where nothing but meat was asked for ; and to so great 
an extent has the shorthorn been used that the cattle 
in this district are no way to be distinguished from 
such as would be seen in any markets in Northampton- 
shire. 

In seeking to improve the meat-producing properties 
of the other breeds, the shorthorn has made but little 
way; it is absolutely banished by most breeders of 
working oxen, except in the Charollais district ; this last 
breed was always celebrated for its good meat, and 
though the bullocks were worked, great pains were 
taken by many farmers to send good meat to market, 
and not to work oxen either too much or too long. 
The shorthorn cross is introduced with great caution. 
The colour of the race is white, so no shorthorns are 
used but those which are the same colour, and the 
introduction has not made itself conspicuously felt. 
If an animal carrying an unusual amount of good flesh 
is seen, it may be suspected that shorthorn blood is 
there, but no boast is made about it \ indeed, a new 
breed is supposed to have been established, and, inasmuch 
as the breeders in the Nievre have most freely used 



92 CATTLE. 

this cross, those animals which have it are called 
Nivernais. The shorthorn is ignored, although really 
the Nivernais is only a cross between a shorthorn and 
a CharoUais. 

The greatly enhanced price of meat has induced 
greater pains to be taken in producing it ; those who 
were in a hurry have used the shorthorn at once, but 
much progress has been made by improving the breed 
by selection of the best parents, by better food when 
young, by care in not overworking, and by putting the 
animals up to fat before they were too old. The result 
is shown in the increased produce of meat; in 1840, 
from a stock of 9,936,538 head, 298,889 tons were 
produced; in 1873, from 10,469,000 head, the produce 
was 464,283 tons. 

French breeders claim for their meat produced in 
this careful manner a superiority of quality over that of 
English meat produced from shorthorns stall-fed, and 
brought to an early and forced maturity. They maintain 
that animals reared up to the age of five or six years 
with good food and healthy exercise, will make better 
meat than those got up at two 3^ears old to the weight 
of a full-grown animal. At the London show in 1876, 
every prize animal in each of the five classes of short- 
horns seemed so tender on its feet as to be hardly able 
to walk ; not one had probably had a good day's healthy 
exercise since he was born. If animals are in a state of 
chronic disease, it does not in many cases prevent their 
being fatted up for market, and presenting a delusive 
appearance of fine condition. Mr. Bake well, to whom 



CATTLE, 93 

farmers owe so much, " used to overflow certain of his 
pastures, and when the water was run off, turn upon 
them those of his sheep which he wanted to prepare for 
market. They speedily became rotted, and in the early 
stage of the disease they accumulated flesh and fat with 
wonderful rapidity." (Youatt.) 

One French writer of eminence permits himself to 
speak with something like contempt of English beef, for 
when noticing a work on Dutch cattle by Hengeveld, 
compiler of the Dutch herdbook, in which that writer 
says that the meat from the grass-fed animals in 
Holland is more delicate and of better flavour than that 
of foreign breeds, his French critic suggests that " the 
remark may be true enough if applied to English beef; 
but the palate accustomed to the flavour of the beef 
produced from the Yendeen and Auvergne cattle will 
find that from the Dutch somewhat insipid, in spite of 
all the care that may be taken with the roasting." 

Dr. Chalmers, in his manual of diet, 1876, confirms 
this view of the superiority of meat from full-grown 
animals to that from the immature. " What is the 
worth of this hypertrophied muscle and adipose tissue ? 
Breeders, if they give a thought to the subject, must be 
conscious that the heart and arteries do not grow at the 
same morbid pace with the rest of the body, and the 
animal, imperfectly supplied with blood, is in a state of 
extreme anaemia. Premature development of size and 
puberty are, on the breeder's side, a virtue, both in those 
destined for the butcher and those he selects as breeders. 
It is a saving of time, and time is money ; but saving is 



94 CATTLE. 

not always the best economy. I fear that our agricul- 
tural societies are not free from the blame of this, 
inducing competition in bulk by their system of prizes ; 
and I do not see how they can counteract the evil that 
has been wrought, unless by instituting rewards for 
prime joints to be adjudged at the table as well as in the 
larder." 

]N'ow to go back to the time when it took four or six 
years to produce a bullock fit for the butcher, to rear one 
animal in the time in which two or three are now reared, 
would indeed be a step in the wrong direction; the 
efibrts must be wholly the other way, and meat must be 
made as at the farm at Coleshill (see Field, January 27, 
1877), where, in 1876, eleven beasts were sold averaging 
eighteen months and two wrecks old, selling one with 
another for £20 18s. 6d. each : the highest prices w^ere £24 
for one seventeen months old, and £23 for one sixteen 
months old. The live weight of each averaged 1,015 lbs., 
which gives a weekly increase of i2f lbs. They paid 5s. 
per week each from their birth. They were always under 
cover, never being turned out, and they made the 
maximum of manure from the minimum of straw. A 
comparison of the cost of feeding cattle of three or four 
years old with that of younger stock, is all in favour of 
the latter, but if bullocks can be profitably kept until 
they are mature, and then fatted, ha^ang no expense to 
be charged against them but the extra food for fatting, 
it is conceivable that it may be a profitable process to 
put full-grown animals up to fat, and that the meat they 
will ffive will be better than that of the oversfrown 



CA TTLE, 



95 



calves of a year and a half old, and the Trench writer be 
justified in his assertion that French beef is better than 
English ; and he can support his views by the opinion of 
Arthur Young, who^ writing before shorthorns were 
invented, when they were only '' Holderness," and mainly 
grass-fed, could say, " We have about half a dozen real 
English dishes that exceed anything, in my opinion, to 
be met with in France : it is an idle prejudice to class 
roast beef among them, for there is not better beef in 
the world than in Paris." 

It is fortunate if working oxen can be turned into 
good beef, for working oxen over the larger part of 
France there always will be : the small farmers of from 
six to eighty acres cannot have two sets of animals, 
one to do the work and one to bring in money, they 
must combine the two. When meat sold for much less 
money than it does now, the oxen were worked pretty 
nearly until they could work no longer, and then turned 
into such beef as could be managed. Things are very 
different now. The smaller farmers of arable land are not 
usually breeders : they buy calves at perhaps six 
months old, and keep them more or less well until they 
can do a little light work. They use four or ^^^ to do 
the labour of two or three, and as they grow in age they 
grow in value, and by the time they are two or three 
years old they are well broken, and sell at a good profit 
to larger farmers, their labour and their manure having 
paid for their keep. Their new owners act much in the 
same way, not usually putting them to the extreme of 
what they can do, reckoning that the labour of a bullock 



96 CATTLE. 

for five hours a day amply covers the cost of his keep. 
Doing this good work until they are six or seven years 
old, they then sell them for stall-feeding to those who 
make a business of it, at a paying profit on original cost. 

This is the result aimed at now, and to a great degree 
attained : advocates of the shorthorn contend that it 
would be greatly assisted by a little strain of this blood, 
which would improve the feeding properties, and not 
weaken too much the working powers, as they are applied 
much less severely than formerly ; but even if good beef 
cannot be made from working oxen, with or Avithout the 
shorthorn, they must still be used all through the south, 
for the sufficient reason that there is no other beast 
of draught for farm-work. The horses are light and 
excitable, mules not in sufficient numbers, whereas oxen 
are always to be bad, and they work with a steady pull 
that horses are incajDable of; they do not want the 
food that horses want, and which, indeed, the south docs 
not supply ; they are not so exacting about where they 
are lodged — the 023en field is as good for them, as the 
comfortable stable. 

As the cattle are ready for the fattening stall, they 
drift northward ; few districts in the south produce food 
that would fatten them. The jobbers who attend the 
fairs are becoming yearly more and more exacting as to 
the quality of the animals they buy, and the sellers must 
meet their wants, under the penalty of driving their 
beasts home again unsold, or of accepting a price below 
that obtained by their neighbours, who take more pains. 

The breeders of milking cows are as anxious as those 



CATTLE. 97 

who breed workers to make the best of both quahties, 
and they meet with more success, as far as success can 
be attained, by the use of shorthorn blood. This is 
specially the case in Brittany and Normandy, not that 
the cross is accepted freely and generally, but it is 
making its way, and it is becoming recognised that cows 
with the shorthorn cross will give as much milk and as 
good as the pure Norman breed, and when they are off 
their milk they fatten very much better than the old 
coarse bony race. 

The milk-producing districts of Flanders and Artois 
rely wholly on the Flemish and Dutch cattle. The 
*' ameliorating race " is, however, welcomed in Cham- 
pagne, where the business of veal manufacture is very 
important, and that is about the limit to which the 
shorthorn extends among the milk-producing breeds. 

Milk will always be of great importance in French 
farming ; it is the article whose benefit makes itseli 
felt daily and weekly ; the daily nourishment of the 
family of the small farmer depends largely upon it, and 
it is the only produce which surely brings in some 
weekly money. Milking- cattle give more food than 
those bred for the butcher only. The best meat-pro- 
ducing stock in France can hardly be ready for market 
under three years of age, and in that time a cow will 
have given milk for twelve or fourteen months, besides 
a couple of calves. Early maturity for milk is fully as 
important as early maturity for meat. The French 
farmer must have money, or money's worth, coming in 
weekly ; he can't put up stock for two or three years, 

H 



98 CATTLE. 

and wait while it grows into value, neither earning 
money by work, nor feeding the family with milk all 
that time. 

On small farms where it would not pay to have 
working oxen or horses, cows are used, and while they 
are at work they are more highly fed, having a peck of 
oats daily; they are worked only after the morning's 
milking, and cease working some time before that of the 
evening, and are not at all worked when heavy in calf. 
By good management five, six, or seven hours' work a 
day is obtained at small cost. 

At the shows for fat stock the shorthorn carries off 
the bulk of the prizes, as, indeed, it should, but the 
Nivernais has held its own well; and at Paris, in 1877, 
the first prize for oxen up to four years old was taken by 
a Landais, from Pau, in competition with twenty-eight 
other animals which were mostly shorthorns, or had 
shorthorn blood ; this distinction must have been gained 
by perfection of form, as it only weighed 1,701 lbs., at 
forty- six months old. At the same show there were 
251 entries, sixty-six of which were in classes open to 
pure native breeds only, and 185 in classes open to 
animals of any breed; of these 185, about half, ninety- 
one entries, were acknowledged shorthorn, or a crossed 
shorthorn ; and of the forty-seven prizes and commenda- 
tions given in these classes the shorthorns, or shorthorn 
crosses, obtained thirty -four, and the Charolais, or Charo- 
lais crossed, eighteen. 

Such an evidence of the value of the shorthorn 
strain in making meat must influence Frencli breeders, 



CATTLE. , 99 

if the dread of lessening the milk-producing properties 
could be shown to be unreasonably strong, and the 
show of dairy cows in London in the winter of 1876-7 
would lead to the belief that it is. The weakening the 
working power of the oxen is a more solid objection to 
its introduction ; and the following extract from a letter 
written by Mr. Abram Eenick, the celebrated breeder of 
shorthorns in Kentucky — whose heifer, " Red Eose of 
Eanoch," was bought by Lord Dunmore for four 
thousand guineas — ^tends to show that this dread is 
also exaggerated :-^ 

"Sharon, i^eSmctry 27t}i, 1877. 

" I liave worked oxen on my farm ever since I liave been 
farming, and tlie best cattle for the purpose that I have used were 
a cross of shorthorn on our native cattle, say three-fourths shorthorn 
to one-fourth native. Half-bloods can be used longer before they 
become too large and heavy for work, but are not so handsome nor 
so profitable here. My near neighbour and friend, B. F. Vanmeter, 
is now working under yoke together as a pair two aged cows — Rose 
of Sharons — ^both of my breeding, Mayflower fifth, twelve years old, 
and Leonora, eleven years old. The former is the dam of some half- 
dozen calves, one of which, May Johnson, is in the herd of Mr. 
Charles Fox, of England ; but she failed to breed before I sold her to 
Mr. Y., and he reduced her by work, and had her to produce him 
three calves in as many years ; and then, as she had skipped a few 
months recently, has become so fat that he returns her to hard 
labour on light diet to reduce her. Leonora was a regular breeder 
until last year, when she skipped over, and became so immensely fat 
that she must keep company with Mayflower under the yoke. They 
are now making a capital pair of '■oxen ' while the weather fits them; 
but if the earth were frozen, their great weight would soon wear 
their feet off until they could not go j and if the weather were hot, 
they could not stand that on account of excessive fat. . . 
H 2 



Calves. 



100 CATTLE. 

know notliing of any French breeds of cattle; but a judicious cross of 
shorthorn makes a very decided improvement upon any breed in this 
country for practical purposes." 

Assurance of good milking properties also comes to 
"US from America. Mr. Lowder, of Indiana, lias a large 
herd of shorthorns, one of which gives fifty pounds' 
weight of milk per day; that is, more than her own 
weight in a month. There was a cow at the exhibition 
at Philadelphia weighing 950 pounds which did equally 
well. 

Working shorthorn cattle would seem to be common 
in America, as at the Philadelphia exhibition there 
were nine pairs, Devon and Durham, shown. 

Yeal is much more largely eaten in France than in 
England, for an excellent reason : it is so much better. 
If the veal in England were as tender, as juicy, aiid as 
succulent as in France, it would meet with as much 
favour as in the latter country. We shall probably see 
some progress in this direction, as it may be found 
to pay better to fat calves than to keep stock for two 
or three years. In France they offer the most striking 
examjDles of early maturity ; at three months old 
they often weigh 440 pounds ; but the average under 
good management in the veal-producing districts of 
Champagne and Brie may be taken at 330 pounds at 
that age, and they sell at from £9 to £15 ; they give from 
220 to 280 pounds of clean meat to the butcher, besides 
ofi'al. It would be hard to find a similar instance of 
such an increase of weight in so short a time. These 



CATTLE. 101 

animals are worth as much, money at three months old 
as they would be at two years if they were kept as 
they would be in France in a general way, and pay 
better than if put up to fatten for two years longer. 

Cattle are treated differently in the different districts : Treatment 
in the grazing countries of Normandy, Charolais, Niver- 
nais, Flanders, La Vendee, Brittany, and Limousin, 
they are always out-of-doors — working oxen are housed 
to rest and feed ; in the south, where there is no grass, 
they are housed, partly for the convenience of feeding 
and partly on account of the heat. Milch cows are put 
out to feed for a part of the day. Upon the whole, 
housing cattle, even when not put up for fatting, is 
more usual in France than in England. 

Oxen used together become so attached that if one 
should die his fellow will sicken and die also ; they are 
therefore never separated, but are worked together, and 
together they go to the fatting stall and the shambles. 
"People unacquainted with the country will not believe 
in this affection of the ox for his yoke-fellow. , They 
should come and see one of the poor beasts in the corner 
of his stable, thin, wasted, lashing with his tail his thin 
flanks, sniffing with uneasiness and disdain at the 
provender offered to him, his eyes for ever turned 
towards the stable door, scratching with his foot at the 
empty space left at his side, smelling the yokes and bands 
which his companion has worn, and incessantly calling 
for him with piteous lo wings. The oxherd will tell you 
there are a pair of oxen gone : his brother is dead, and 



102 CATTLE. 

this one will work no more ; lie ongM to be fattened for 
killing, but one cannot get him to eat, and in a short 
time he will have starved himself to death." — George 
Band. Translated hy Mattlieio Arnold. 

It is interesting to notice the condition we were in 
in England a hundred years ago, when we had to seek 
stock in foreign parts to improve our own breed. The 
following extract is from an article on cows in the 
'' Monthly Miscellany " for 1 774 :— 

" The breed of cows has been improved by a foreign mixture, 
properly adapted to supply the imperfections of our own. Such as 
are purely British are far inferior in size to those on many parts of 
the Continent, but those which we have thus improved excel the others. 
Our Lincolnshire kind derive their size from the Holstein breed, and 
the large hornless cattle that are found in some parts of England 
came originally from- Poland. Our graziers now, therefore, en- 
deavoured to mix the two breeds, the large Holstein with the small 
northern, and from both results that fine milch breed which excels 
any other part of the world." 

This Holstein cross succeeded better in Holder- 
ness than in Lincolnshire, or rather, succeeded more 
generally ; and it was from Holderness that the breeders 
in Durham, who so improved the breed, sought their 
stock. In drawings, of about the year 1800, of the 
finest beasts reared in Durham, they are called Holder- 
ness, but there are drawings of equally fine oxen reared 
in Lincolnshire, of the same period. The Lincolnsliire 
seem to have been red roan in colour, the Holderness 
more of a blue roan, and the Holderness appear to have 
been the best milkers. 



SHEEP. 103, 

In 1852 the number of sheep returned as existing sheep. 
in France was 33,000,000 ; in 1862, 29,500,000 ; and in 
1873, 25,935,114. It is beheved that the falling off in 
the last decade has not been so great as these figures 
indicate, the returns of 1862 being considered too 
favourable. There is no doubt there was some reduction 
from various causes, one being the loss of territory, 
which accounts for 300,000; and the return of 1873 
may be accepted as sufficiently correct. During about 
the same period there was a serious decline in the stock 
of sheep in Great Britain, the returns for 1868 being 
30,711,000, while those for 1871 showed only 27,000,000. 
There was a recovery in England, 1874 almost equalling 
1868 — a recovery, however, not maintained, 1875 falling 
1,000,000 below 1874, and 1876 1,000,000 again below 
1875, which still exceeded 1871 by 1,000,000. In France . 
the decrease is probably permanent as regards the 
numbers, but the size is yearly increasing. 

One of the causes of this decrease is the continual 
division of estates into smaller holdings, under which 
system the land must produce something more profit- 
able than sheep, or the owners will starve. Another is 
the inclosure of common lands, and the abolition of the 
right of turning stock upon the unin closed and uncul- 
tivated lands of any commune by the inhabitants of 
a neighbouring one, and also of that possessed by the 
inhabitants of a commune of grazing upon the stubbies 
and fallows of their neighbours in the same commune. 
These two privileges enable many a poor man to keep 
a few miserable sheep, which must disappear. Better 



104 SHEEP. 

farming may allow of more stock to be kept after a 
time, and it will certainly be better stock ; but as the 
land will probably get into the hands of small owners, 
it is most likely that cows and not sheep will be the 
stock used. 

i Of the 26,000,000 sheep, 15,000,000 are in the 
southern half of the country, and 11,000,000 in the 
northern half, the northern eleven being worth con- 
siderably more than the southern fifteen. The merino 
has made some progress in the south, but the sheep 
there are generally small and coarse- wooUed. Over a 
large tract of country they are of the Barbary breed, 
brought from Africa to the extent of 300,000 yearly ; 
the breed generally, and the system of feeding, being 
the same now as for ages past. 

Through the south the sheep are kept out-of-doors, 
not in sheds or stables, as in the north : they are folded 
at night, and protected from wolves by the shepherds 
and large dogs. In the winter they remain in the 
valleys, or on the lower slopes of the hills ; in the 
summer they move to the higher pastures in the 
mountains of the Alps, Provence, the Cevennes, and 
Eousillon. Some of these summer sheep-runs — as, for 
instance, those in Languedoc — are not mountains, but 
table-lands 3,000 to 4,000 feet high, covered mtli snow 
in winter, and in summer offering nothing to the view, 
as far as eye can reach, but great level plains of pasture 
below and the blue sky above, and on which the sheep 
are estimated to walk from eight to fifteen miles a day 
in grazing. The Camargue, a salt-marsh of 200,000 



SHEEP, 105 

acres, supports many sheep in winter; and 400,000 
head find nourishment during the six winter months 
upon the plain of the Crau, 50,000 acres in extent, 
covered with stones of various sizes, underneath which 
the sheep find a herhage which they relish, but which 
they cannot reach wdthout turning the stones on one 
side. The breed is very much the same all across the 
south, modified in some cases by a cross with the 
merino, and with various names, according to 
the district. These pastures are good for rearing 
sheep, but none of them rich enough to fatten 
them; they are bred for their milk, their wool, and 
to be sold as store sheep to be fattened in the 
north. 

The most immediate source of profit here is the Ewes' 

-^ ^ ^ Milk 

milk of the ewes, which is used in cheesemaking ; its Cheese. 
use is very general through the south, and it is 
increasing. The largest and best-known manufacture is 
that of Roquefort, for which the milk of 250,000 ewes 
is required, and the amount made reaches to from 3,000 
to 3,500 tons. The average produce from each ewe is 
estimated at 24 lbs. of cheese yearly, but this is exceeded 
in the best-managed flocks. Thirty years ago the 
milk of ten ewes was required to make 1 cwt. of 
cheese ; now three suffice, besides the milk sucked by 
the lamb for two months. It is- by no means rare to 
find whole flocks which give 55 lbs. per head in the 
season. In 1874 a small landow^ner made 8 cwt. of 
cheese from the milk of thirteen ewes ; the cheese from 



106 SHEEP, 

each ewe sold for 30s., the wool for 4s. 6d., and the 
lamb, sold at a few days old, 4s. 6d. The average 
weight of the fleece on the high downs is 4 lbs., in the 
valleys 5 lbs , and even up to 6 lbs. or 7 lbs. where the 
merino is prominent : it is very loaded, and does not 
yield, after washing, more than 33 to 35 per cent, of 
clean wool. Merinos were introduced in 1814-15, to the 
manifest improvement of the wool, but not of the milk, 
the merinos being the worst milkers of any breed of 
sheep ; and this cross is not now in favour. The 
characteristics of the milk-giving sheep of Larzac are 
very similar to those of the best races of milch cows ; 
the chest is narrow and not deep, the flank broad, the 
belly large, shoulders and haunches slack, the udder very 
large — so large that the ewes walk with difiiculty. 

Three thousand five hundred tons of cheese, at 
£48 per ton, to the farmer will bring £168,000; and 
the wool of the 400,000 sheep will make, at 4s. a 
head, £80,000; 80,000 ewes sold yearly to the 
butcher at 12s. 6d. each make £50,000; the 80,000 
ewes are replaced by 80,000 lambs, which leaves 
140,000 to send to market, where they make 3s. 4d. 
each, or £22,400. These various items together show 
that a good deal over £300,000 conies to the farmers in 
the neighbourhood of Eoquefort. The price of a three- 
year-old ewe is £1 ; when well cared for each will give 
yearly l7s. worth of milk, 4s. worth of wool or more, 
and a lamb worth 3s. 4d. ; in addition to this there is 
the manure. The amount of nione}^ turned over by the 
time the cheeses are sold to the retail dealers is quite 



SHEEP. 107 

£600,000. In the year 1800 the quantity made was 
only 250 tons, and it did not increase very mucli before 
1850, when it reached 1,400 tons, and now it amounts 
to 3,500, and is extending. At first it was only in the 
department . of Aveyron, on the high table-lands of 
Larzac, that the cheese was made, but Haute Gravonne 
and Ariege are adopting the trade, crossing their own 
sheep with Larzac rams. . The cheese made outside the 
district will, no doubt, be a profitable and useful article 
of consumption, but will probably bear the same relation 
to the true Eoquefort that the Brie made in the Meuse 
does to that made in Seine et Marne. 

Ewes' milk is much more rich than that from cows, 
the solids being eighteen in the former, as against twelve 
in the latter, and the fat in the milk being quite 
double. • 

It was at one time supposed that the Roquefort 
cheese gained some of its peculiarity from the aromatic 
herbs upon which the sheep pastured on the mountains, 
but this is an error ; the farmers, on the contrary, are 
very careful not to let the sheep graze where these herbs 
are abundant. In summer the sheep graze upon 
meadows of artificial grasses, and they are kept closely to 
one spot, so as to eat it thoroughly down. The less 
watery the grass is the better is the milk, so many 
farmers keep a supply of dry fodder to give the ewes to 
eat, while they are fed upon green meat, and the milking 
time is advanced as much as possible ; formerly it began 
in May, but now the ewes are put to the ram in August 
or September, so that the lambs may drop in January 



108 SHEEP. 

or February, which allows milking to begin in February. 
In winter they are fed on Sainfoin and Lucerne hay, 
with barley meal and water. 

The cheeses are all made by the farmers at home, 
and delivered by them to the owners of the caves where 
they are prepared, and it is on this preparation that the 
peculiarity of the cheese is said to depend, as there is no 
difference in the process, or no material difference 
between that followed at Eoquefort and that adopted 
elsewhere. Seven people can milk 200 ewes ; the 
milking is done twice a day. The curds are formed and 
pressed as is usual ; the only remarkable feature is the 
introduction of mould into the cheese, which gives 
it those blue streaks so essential. This is done by 
powdering a layer of the curds when placed in the mould 
with crumbs of mouldy bread ; on this another layer of 
curds is placed, which is again powdered, and on this 
the last layer is placed. The buyers attach great im- 
portance to the quality of this bread. They make it 
themselves, and distribute it to the farmers. It is made 
from equal proportions of flour from wheat, from winter 
barley, and from spring barley. A large quantity of 
yeast is used, one part to every twenty-three of dough, 
and a little vinegar is added ; it is kneaded a long time, 
until the dough is very stiff, and is very much baked ; 
when drawn from the oven it is placed in a somewhat 
warm room, and when the mould has spread through all 
the crumb it is ground, to reduce it to powder; it is then 
passed through a fine sieve. Botanists have given 
the name Penicelltim glaucum to the blue mould of 



SHEEP. 109 

Eoquefort cheese. A bit of old cheese is never intro- 
duced, as is supposed by some people. 

It is when the cheeses are delivered at the caves 
that the treatment begins which is peculiar to Roque- 
fort. They are received, and the imperfect ones rejected; 
they are then salted, which takes three days ; two days 
after this is completed a sticky exudation is removed 
with a knife ; they are then scraped, the scrapings 
being sold at 2d. to 2jd. per lb., and eaten by the 
workmen. An opinion can now b3 formed of the 
quality, and they are sorted into three degrees, which 
represent a difference of about 8s. per cwt. They are 
now removed to the caves, where they remain for eight 
days in small piles of three cheeses each ; they are then 
placed on their edges, so that they do not touch each 
other, when they become covered with a reddish yellow 
rind. The colour is not the same in all the cases — 
sometimes a white mould ''grows on them a couple of 
inches long; they are then again scraped. This scraping 
is done once a week or once a fortnight, as they mature. 
The best cheeses ripen quickest. The cheeses of the 
earlier months are ripe in thirty to forty days, and 
do not keep long ; those of the end of the season remain 
longer in the cellars, they are scraped many times, and 
towards the end of September are quite ripe. These 
later cheeses are the best, and keep longest. The loss 
of weight from these frequent scrapings amounts to 
23 or 25 per cent. The work is done by women, of 
whom about 400 are employed. The season lasts eight 
months, and they receive £8 wages, and are boarded and 



110 SHEEP, 

lodged. Tliey are warmly clothed, and the occupation 
is not found injurious. 

The largest preparer of the cheese is the " Societe 
des Caves Eeunies," a company formed in 1851. This 
company advances money to the farmers without in- 
terest, upon an engagement to deliver cheese either at 
a contract price, or at the price of the day; and also 
lends money for periods of from two months to two 
years to enable men to buy or start a flock, on a 
payment of interest. 

On the north of the high table-land of Larzac is 
a steep cliff 300 feet high, called the mountain of 
Cambelon. Here at some remote period has occurred 
a great landslip, and upon the wreck has been built 
the village of Eoquefort. The caverns formed by the 
broken mass have a number of fissures, and many 
springs. There is a constant circulation of air, charged 
with moisture, through these fissures, and of a tem- 
perature keeping pretty constant at between 39° and 
46° Fahrenheit, varying somewhat in the different caves. 
This temperature is favourable to the ripening of the 
cheeses ; if lower it would be checked, if higher it would 
be stimulated too much. A dry air would crack the 
cheeses ; a damper one would make them soft. The 
cave is a large space into which these fissures open, and 
here the cheeses are placed qu shelves and tables edge- 
ways, so that the air may circulate round them. Twenty- 
three of the caves are natural, and eleven have been cut 
out. It is maturing in these caves that makes the 
Eoquefort cheeses what they are. Other people may 



SHEEP, 111 

make ewe's milk cheeses ; mature tliem in damp caves, 
and succeed in making a very good article, whicli 
assimilates to the Eoquefort, but is as distinct from 
it as the ordinary wines of a good district are from 
those choice ones which have given that district its 
reputation. 

The migration of the flocks from the plains to the Migration. 
mountain pastures in summer, called " transhumance,'' is 
one of the most curious sights in the country. It is 
practised also in Italy and Spain, and has been for 
centuries. The rules by which the migrations in France 
are still governed were framed in the year 1235, and 
again arranged in 1442. When the time arrives for the 
sheep to move, the head shepherds provide themselves 
with donkeys and goats. The donkeys carry the pro- 
visions for the journey; the he-goats have each a bell, 
every bell with a dijfferent sound, and they lead the 
flocks ; the she-goats furnish milk. The collection for 
each mountain pasture is called a caravan, and may 
consist of from 20,000 to 40,000 head, divided into 
flocks of from 2,000 to 4,000, under the charge of one 
shepherd, assisted by large dogs, at the rate of one dog 
for every 400 sheep. When all is ready the sheep are 
examined, any sickly ones separated from the rest, and 
the day and hour of departure fixed. The head-quarters 
are in the centre of the caravan ; the chief shepherd is 
there with all the provisions, often requiring a hundred 
donkeys to carry them. Every evening the under shep- 
herds report to the chief the state of the flocks, and 



112 



SHEEP. 



progress for tlie day following is ordered according as 
the sheep bear the journey more or less well, or as the 
road may furnish food and water in more or less abun- 




rVREXEAX SHEPHERD S DOG. 



dance. During the first days the progress is at the rate 
of only five to eight miles a day. The roads must be in 
good condition, and the weather very favourable for a 
distance of as much as twelve to fifteen miles to be 



SHEEP. 113 

covered in any one day. The route followed is a wide 
grassy track, which has been devoted to this use for 
centuries. Every evening during the month that the 
journey occupies, the men sleep out in the open air, 
collecting their sheep together closely. One of the 
shepherds starts each morning before the general depar- 
ture to prepare the camping-ground and the food, and 
one remains behind to settle with the owners of the 
lands where the flocks have passed the night, and .to pay 
for any damage that may have been done. The rent 
paid for the mountain pasture varies from fivepence to 
fifteen- pence per head for the season ; the cost of wages, 
food, payment for damage done on the road is generally 
one shilling and eightpence per head, and the loss from 
deaths amounts to about 4 per cent. This yearly 
migration is considered very injurious to the country, 
and if the mountains were planted, as they ought to be, 
and indeed are becoming, it must cease. 

Throuerh the northern part of France the sheep for Sheep in 

^ ^ . . -^ the North.. 

many ages were a long-wooUed breed — Artois, Picardy, 
and part of Champagne were noted for the production 
of wool, and during the E-oman domination seem to 
have held towards Eome much the same position that 
England in the Middle Ages held towards Europe, and 
that Australia now holds ; Artois, moreover, manu- 
factured the wool grown by itself and neighbours. So 
important was the manufacture that an insurrection of 
the Grauls in the third century caused much anxiety 
at Eome lest the supply of woollen goods should be 
I 



114 SHEEP, 

interrupted, and caused the Emperor Gallienus to ex- 
claim, " Is the Republic in danger because the wool of 
the Atrebates is likely to fail it?" This breed, which is 
found in all the countries bordering the German Ocean 
from the Elbe to the Seine, is really the same as our 
breed of Lincolns, Leicesters, and Kent, modified by 
food and treatment, and, as regards the foreign part, not 
improved, as it has been in England, by Bakewell and 
others. 

The improvement of the breed of sheep in France 
began with a view to the production of wool solely, and 
the factor in the improvement was the merino intro- 
duced from Spain, where it had been received from 
Africa in the reign of Louis XYI. The few specimens 
obtained from the King of Spain were placed at Eam- 
bouillet, in 1786, but no progress was made in spreading 
the race before 1816; by good luck or good manage- 
ment the establishment lived through the troublous 
times of the Revolution and the Empire, although it 
had given no proofs of utility. The name " merino " is 
derived from a Spanish word which signifies wandering, 
and had reference to the change of pasture to which it 
was subjected in Spain, and probably in its earlier 
locality, Africa, similar to the " transhumance " of Prance. 
It ceased to justify its name, for it never moved from 
Eambouillet for thirty years, and the breed still occupies 
the same locality now. It wandered once, however, for 
during the Prussian occupation the guardian of the flock, 
Rougeoreille, dreading the all- devouring wants of the 
Grermans, started with it on foot, on the approach of 




y ^ i. Ir. 



OLD RAMBOUILLET MERINO. 




MODERN RAMBOUILLET MERINO. 



SHEEP. 



115 



the dreaded foe, and walked witli it until it was safely 
lodged in Brittany. After 1816 it spread gradually 
through France, until at this time there are probably 
9,000,000 of more or less pure merinos in the north of 
France, and 60,000,000 in Australia, New Zealand, and 
South Africa. No modern introduction of a new race 




SILKY-WOOLLED MERINO — MAUCHAMP BREED. 



has approached this one in value ; it has brought wealth 
to France, and prosperity to our colonies. 

The merinos, now becoming very general in France, 
are very different from the animals first introduced at 
the end of the last century. In those first bred, the sole 
object sought for was a large fleece of wool of fine 
quality. The shape was in every way deficient for a meat- 
producing animal : the legs were long, the chest narrow, 
I 2 



116 SHEEP. 

tlie framework lieavy and bony, the head large with 
enormous curved horns, the wool was short and very 
fine, and it was next to an impossibility to fatten them. 
Many years of attention directed solely to the develop- 
ment of the aptitude to produce wool increased its 
production enormously, and the breed of French 
merinos at Rambouillet had wool on every part of 
its body, from almost the tip of its nose to the feet ; 
the area of skin upon which wool was grown was 
extended by encouraging the formation of heavy folds 
without increasing the size of the body. Deep wrinkles 
v/ere formed, chiefly round the neck, from which 
descended a mass of skin, reaching almost to the 
ground. This was found to be an error, the wool 
growing between the wrinkles was of inferior quality, 
as was that grown under the belly and round the legs ; 
and the improved merino, which has no folds of skin, 
nor any wool on the lower part of the legs, gives a fleece 
as heavy as those which seem to show such a mass of 
v/ool, and it is of a superior and more even quality. 

The reduction in the value of short and fine wool 
caused by the large importations from Australia, and 
the largely increased j^i'ice of meat, have between them 
brouo^ht about this chancre to the kind of merinos now 
bred. The head is comparatively small, the horns dis- 
appear, the neck is short, the chest broad, the bones 
small; early maturity has so far progressed that they have 
at least four fully-developed teeth at eighteen months 
old, and there are flocks in Aisne in which the rams 
have the full complement of teeth at twenty-six months ; 




IMrROYED MERINO FROM AISXE, 




SHEEP. 117 

they fatten well, and a good specimen of the improved 
merino very much resembles a Southdown in shape. 

The character of the wool has also changed : from 
being short and fine it has become longer, without, 
however, any sacrifice of its fineness or value ; it is 
more a w^ool for combing than carding, and so finds a 
good market for making certain woollen fabrics much 
manufactured in France, for which the Australian wools 
are not so suitable. 

Of the 26,000,000 sheep in France about 9,000,000 
are merinos, more or less pure. They are not found 
much in the south, and nowhere do they approach the 
sea : the marine climate does not seem to agree with 
them ; no attempts to acclimatise them near the sea 
have been successful, and they want higher food than 
the south generally furnishes. A very small proportion 
of these 9,000,000 come up to the standard of the best 
improved merinos ; most of them have all the imper- 
fections of the old breed, being bony, narrow-chested, 
and hard to fatten ; but many breeders still adhere to 
this old sort, priding themselves on the purity of the 
breed, and they have found a profitable sale for their 
rams for exportation to the colonies — this is especially 
the case in Beauce. The best flocks of improved 
merinos are to be found in Aisne, particularly near 
Soissons, where the adherence to the improved merino 
is very determined, and where the farmers are no way 
inclined to follow the example of some of their fellow- 
countrymen in adopting the cross with the Leicester. 
Some of the principal breeders here possess as many as 



118 SHEEP. 

1,000 slieep, and let annually forty-five to fifty rams 
at from £10 to £12 each, for the season; this year 
(1874) the fleece sold generally for 14s., and weighed 
over 13 lbs. in the grease. 

The weight of merino slieep as usually sent to market 
at present is from 110 to 132 lbs. : it is increasing 
yearly. One hundred ewes culled from a farm in Brie 
as being the least good, and clipped on the 15th Feb- 
ruary, averaged 156 lbs., the fleeces weighing 9 lbs. 
15 ozs. ; the lambs from the same ewes averaged 123 lbs. 
at nine months old, giving a clip of wool of 5 lbs. 8 ozs., 
and which sold at 14^d. per lb. 

On a farm at Chateaudun, in Beauce, the males at six 
months old weighed 99 lbs., the females ^^ lbs. On 
another farm a ram had the full complement of teeth, 
and weighed 231 lbs. at twenty-six months ; a ewe of 
the same age had six teeth and weighed 154 lbs. At 
Genouill}^ the flock at eighteen months weighed from 
17G to 189 lbs. These particulars are taken from flocks 
of acknowledged reputation, and are above the average, 
but they could be matched very generally in the depart- 
ment of the Aisne. 

The weight of the fxeece, unwashed, varies between 
11 and 22 lbs., and generally gives 30 per cent, of clean 
washed wool ; the fleece of a Southdown, clean washed, 
will not weigh as much as 4 lbs., and the price is onty a 
quarter that of the merino, and as the weight of the 
fleece does not suffer by the improvement in the quality 
of the meat, neither does its quality, as the following 
measurements will show ; they were taken from some of 



SHEEP, 119 

the best improved flocks in Aisne, which, yield a satis- 
factory weight of meat. 

The longest staple was from a ram, and it measured 
7 2 inches ; others, also from rams, measured 4to, 5to, 
6x0 ; from ewes, 4f , and TtV. The minimum was from 
a ewe, and was 4 inches ; with this exception, none 
went below 4i inches. 

In Brie, from several samples examined, the 
maximum was SfV, and the shortest found was 3to. 

Nine samples of colonial wool, taken from the stock 
of a manufacturer at Beims, gave a maximum of 6 
inches ; this came from New Zealand ; the minimum 
was 2to inches, from Australia. The others were 5 J 
Port Philip, 5to Australian, 4J Adelaide, 41 New 
Zealand, 4J Adelaide, and two from Port Philip, SM. 
This is no proof that these measurements fairly repre- 
sent the length of the wools from the colonies, but 
only those from this manufacturer's stock. As regards 

the fineness and the tension, the result of the exami- 
nation was in favour of the French wools ; they were 
finer, and they bore a greater strain. 

The enormous supply of wool from the English 
colonies, which will be permanent, and the increased 
price of meat, is compelling the French sheep-farmers 
to pay more attention to the production of meat, and 
the English breeds are looked to as the means to obtain 
the increase. The controversy as to which is the most 
profitable breed is hot and strong, both as to the 
possibility of preserving the excellent wool of the 
merinos, or the necessity of sacrificing it to the meat- 



120 SHEEP, 

producing properties of the English breeds ; and again, 
as to size. If English blood is to be used, should size 
be sought in the Leicesters or Kent, or quality in the 
Southdowns ? It was at one time laid down as an 
axiom that the highest development of wool and meat 
could not be attained in the same animal. This pro- 
position is perhaps even now not absolutely controverted, 
but it is maintained that a sufficientl}^ profitable pro- 
duction of meat of good quality may be secured, with 
a valuable production of wool, by attending to the 
improviement of the merinos by selection and not by 
crossing ; that merinos can be got to w^eigli as much 
or more than Southdowns at the same age ; that the 
wool of the better meat-producing merinos is longer 
than that of the old breed, but it is quite as fine, and 
better for some purposes, and does not suff'er so much 
from the competition of colonial wools. 

Meat sells well, long and fine wool sells well : can the 
two conditions of wool and meat produce required from 
a sheep be united in the same animal ? The advocates 
of the merino answer confidently that they can ; and 
the improved merino seems to justify their opinion. 

The discussions as to the breed to be used where 
the English is to be used at all, are as warm as are 
those between the advocates of the merino and those 
of the English cross. The Southdown is in great 
favour, especially across the centre of France. The 
produce is precocious and hardy, the meat of excellent 
flavour, and the size of the joints more suitable to the 
habits of French households than that of the larger 



SHEEP, 121 

breeds, and it sells at a penny per pound more money 
than the larger mutton. 

That the Leicester cross is also in favour is shown 
by the result of the annual sale of rams at the Govern- 
ment school at Grrignon, in May, 1877. Ten Leicester 
rams made an average of £28, the highest reaching 
£44; eleven Leicester and merino cross averaged £31, the 
highest making §j^^ \ five Shropshire downs averaged 
£17 10s. ; and twelve Southdowns£13. At no previous 
sale have the Leicesters made such a price, which 
might, however, in some degree be owing to the 
stoppage of importations from England in consequence 
of the cattle-plague. 

The case in favour of the employment of the larger 
breed can hardly be better stated, certainly not more 
vigorously, than by M. de la Trehonnais in his notice 
of the fat-stock show at Paris in February, 1874. 

"In the two-year-old Southdowns of M. Nouette- 
Delorme, we come to an average of nearly 200 lbs. 
and in those of the Comte de Bouille to nearly 150 
lbs., all these animals being particularly good. In 
the pen adjoining these magnificent sheep we come 
across some Bourbonnais - Crevant, weighing, at the 
outside, 118 lbs., at over two years of age. This 
becomes ridiculous ; and trusting to the good sense of 
M. Bignon, it is to be hoped that this eminently 
practical man will not again offer to us such a miserable 
result of his rearing. In the prizes for a lot of twenty 
we have a fine parcel of cross-bred merinos, aged twenty 
and a half months, sent by M. Triboulet, which 



122 SHEEP, 

average within a trifle of 220 lbs. eacli ; this is a result 
to be proud of. In the next pen we have our ex- 
cellent friend M. Bignon with his inconceivable com- 
bination of Bourbonnais-Crevant, showing fifteen sheep 
of that cross, aged over two years, which barely reach 
103 lbs. Here is the system of microscopical cutlets 
perfectly successful! It is possible that the small cutlet 
may suit a certain class of customers, rich enough not 
to find fault with the exiguity of the mouthful, and 
who, on the contrary, prefer a small cutlet to a large 
one. Certain fashionable butchers and the restauran- 
teurs, who do not sell cutlets by weight, patronise the 
small and cry down the large cutlet ; this is an affair 
of business which is reasonable enough as the demand 
exists, but what I can't understand is that breeders 
should consider this paucity of result as a real advantage 
to them because the small sheep sell for Id. per lb. more 
than the large, and be satisfied with 56 lbs. of mutton 
at the end of two years. Where is this theory to lead 
us ? Are none but the rich to eat mutton ? Is not 
the whole mass of the people the customer of the 
breeder? The small rather than the large piu'ses? 
Does not any practical man see that the cross-bred 
merinos of M. Triboulet, weighing 220 lbs., at 
twenty-six months old, must pay more profit, even 
at Id. per lb. less mone}^, than the Bourbonnais- 
Crevant of M. Bignon which, at the same age, only 
weigh 103 lbs.? True economical production is not to 
be found in this direction, but in the growth of big 
legs of mutton and choj)s with something on them ; in 



SHEEP, 123 

sheep reared in a year and a half, twenty months at the 
outside, and weighing at least 200 lbs.. In the face 
of the deficiency of meat-supply, people can be found to 
recommend the Bourbonnais-Crevant with its toy -joints, 
and its chops of a mouthful apiece ! " 

Such a statement was not left long without an 
answer. " M, Grallicher, deputy for the Cher (Berri}, 
writes that it costs him infinitely less to grow 110 lbs. 
of mutton with two sheep than with one, and that one 
pound of mutton from a two-year-old sheep costs less 
than from a sheep only one year old ; protesting at 
the same time against the masses of fat which go to 
form English sheep. Complaints are also heard from 
breeders that the prizes at the shows are given in 
such a way as to encourage the uneconomical increase 
in the size of sheep ; the interests of the breeder, the 
tastes and requirements of the consumer, and the 
reasonable preference of the butcher, are said to be all 
against the exaggerated increase. Some such mur- 
murings are by no means rare in English households, 
where Is. per lb. has to be paid for mutton, not much 
more than half of which can be eaten. 

The controversy proves that, in a country with a 
soil and climate so diverse as that of France, it is 
impossible to fix any absolute rule to be followed in 
every case ; heavy sheep can only be reared where the 
land will bear them ; but even in the poorest districts 
there has been a steady improvement. 

There is not a poorer country in France than the 
heath district of Brittany, and the evidence of improve- 



1 24 SHEEP. 

ment here is conclusive, and there is no reason to believe 
that it is greater here than elsewhere. M. Eieffel, 
Director of the Agricultural College of Grrand Jouan, 
in Brittany, states that when he first went there in 
1830 he bought seventy ewes at a neighbouring fair 
at an average price of five francs (4s. 2d.) a head, that 
being the usual value. He has attended the same fair 
for forty-five years, and has observed a continuous 
improvement ; the sheep, which in 1830 did not exceed 
33 lbs. total weight, now weigh double, and the gross 
return in money is six times what it was then. In 
1830 the Brittany sheep were probably as small as any 
in France, and they now do not exceed the average of 
sheep in the south, and only reach to about half the 
size of those in Flanders and Normandy. In 1840, 
from a stock of 24,842,841 head of fuU-grow^n sheep, 
80,000 tons of mutton were produced; in 1873, from 
19,700,000 head, the produce was 112,900 tons. 

Through the north of France and the centre, the 
sheep are generally reared for half the year in the 
open air in the breeding districts, but they are taken 
up every night. When put up to fat, they never 
go out at all ; and even Avhen not fatting they are 
kept in in winter, or only taken out for a couple of 
hours for exercise. This confinement has a tendencv 
to render them more delicate, less productive, and more 
liable to disease, but it saves them from foot-rot. The 
danger from wolves is one reason for the adoption of 
this method, and another is the paucity of natural 
pastures ; as the sheep have to be fed on artificial focd, 



SHEEP. 125 

it is more convenient to have tliem under cover. In 
some of the largest sheep-growing districts of France it is 
possible to travel for days together and not see a head. 

In the south, where the flocks are larger and grazed 
upon hilly ranges somewhat like our downs, or on 
stony plains like the Crau, which feeds 400,000 sheep 
during the spring, though not a blade of herbage 
can be seen, or on salt-marshes like the Camargue, 
there is no shelter, but the sheep are folded at night 
in walled inclosures, and protected by large dogs. 

The mutton supply for French consumption is much 
below the wants of the country, the importations ex- 
ceeding the exportations by over 1,000,000 head, and 
the balance of money-cost exceeding £2,000,000 ; one- 
third of the number, however, though certainly not 
one-third of the cost, is supplied by lean stock from 
Algiers, the numbers being over 300,000; the re- 
mainder is chiefly in fat sheep from Germany. This 
should not be. France in every way is so suitable a 
country for sheep, that she ought not only fully to 
supply her own wants, but have a surplus for the 
English market. 

Mutton is not generally eaten in France by the 
working-classes — the peasants, indeed, in most parts 
w;ill not touch it; and if offered to servants in many 
country households, it is often refused. Outside the 
towns there is a very small consumption of mutton. Of 
the meat eaten in France, 55 per cent, is from horned 
cattle, about 30 per cent, is pork, and only 13 per 
cent, mutton. 



126 NOXIOUS INSECTS. 

Noxious Insects of various kinds, in their various stasres of 

Insects. ^ 

development, are the plague of the French farmers. 
The phylloxera destroys thousands, of acres of his vine- 
yards, caterpillars innumerahle eat up his fruit, the field 
mouse empties his corn-stacks, the grub of the cock- 
chafer ruins his grass and corn, the cockchafer himself 
strips his plantations bare of leaves. Frost and a 
mysterious disease has reduced the yield of silk from 
£5,000,000, yearly to less than £500,000. The phyl- 
loxera and the silkworm disease are new enemies, but 
the others are of old date. The reputed destruction of 
small birds is supposed to have allowed the evil to 
increase, and this may to some extent be true, but the 
damage was great before the Eevolution, when none but 
the privileged were allowed to possess a gun, and the 
country swarmed with feathered game; nor is it true 
now that France is so bare of birds as is commonly 
supposed; complaints about the injury done by rooks 
are loud in some parts of the country, though they 
have their friends. In Sologne M. Goffart says he has 
frequently lost one-third, sometimes one-half, his Indian 
corn, eaten up by rooks, magpies, wood-pigeons, doves, 
(fee, which swarm over the country wherever there are a 
few woods to shelter them. In the Beauce forty magpies 
in a flock are common enough, in Limousin the air is 
at times darkened by flights of wood-pigeons. A decree 
of the 26th January, 1796, renewed on the 25th Feb- 
ruary, 1859, orders that the webs of caterpillars should 
be destroyed before the 20th January in each year. 
Landowners are to see to their destruction on lands used 



COCKCHAFER. 127 

by themselves ; farmers and tenants on those they hire ; 
and public authorities on public lands. The branches 
of shrubs and trees which have the webs of these 
insects are to be carefully cut off and burned. This 
order is not always attended to, and the prefets of the 
departments have often to call the attention of those 
interested to its due fulfilment. 

The OTub of the cockchafer seems to be the most ^^^Y' 

. ^ cnaier, 

destructive of these insects to the corn-farmer, and the 
evidence of its enormous abundance, and the injury it 
causes, appears somewhat startling ; it is, however, un- 
impeachable. 

In the department of Seine et Oise, a coantry of 
large farms, no produce escapes it ; the grass in the 
meadows, the corn in the fields, the smallest vegetable 
in the kitchen- garden, are often wholly destroyed by 
the grub ; the fully-developed cockchafer strips bare the 
forest-trees, so as to cause them to present in summer 
time the appearance of winter. The Forest of Marly, to 
the extent of seven or eight miles and to the depth of 
100 yards, has often been so stripped. 

A piece of ground of three-quarters of an acre, near 
Versailles, was turned up three times with 72 shallow 
furrows ; after the first ploughing 300 grubs were col- 
lected from each furrow, after the second 250, and after 
the third 50, making 600 for each furrow, or a total 
of 43,200 for the whole piece ; three to four thousand 
more were certainly left between the furrows, which would 
bring the total quantity to over 60,000 grubs per acre. 



128 COCKCHAFER. 

In the Pas de Calais, in 186S, the Marquis d'Havrin- 
court paid one penny per litre (If pints) for collecting 
cockchafers; he received 870 gallons; with them he made 
a compost with lime, which he used as manure, not, how- 
ever, with much success; hut in 1871 he paid half that 
price, and received nearly 3,500 gallons from two com- 
munes ; the cockchafers were mixed with sulphuric acid, 
which produced very good results on the land, without 
any other manure. 

The numher of cockchafers in a gallon is 1,600, 
which for the 3,500 gallons makes a total of 5,600,000 
cockchafers destroyed in these- two communes alone ; 
and they would have produced 60,000,000 grubs. This 
destruction was to a great extent effective, for in 1874, 
the year in which these grubs of 1871 would have 
developed themselves into full-grown cockchafers, only 
1,122 gallons were collected. 

On a large model farm near Alengon, in Normandy, 
800 gallons were collected in the spring of 1871 ; and 
the proprietor has two poultry-houses on wheels, each 
capable of holding from 100 to 150 fowls", which are 
taken into the fields when they are ploughed in the 
spring. Newlj^-ploughed land at this season is some- 
times quite white with the grub. 

In the commune of Hesdin I'Abbe, in the Pas de 
Calais, nine pupils in the public school collected 220 
gallons of cockchafers in 1874. 

Experiments have been made in feeding pigs upon 
cockchafers, which show that it is a profitable use to 
make of them ; they are killed with boiling water, 



NOXIOUS INSECTS, 129 

dried, and kept in barrels, and given out in the winter 
with barley-meal. This treatment, however, has got no 
farther than an experiment at present. 

These are a few instances of the enormous plague of 
cockchafers and their grubs, and the plague is very 
general in suitable localities — that is, in countries where 
there is a certain amount of wood or forest; in quite 
open countries, or in situations with a north aspect, the 
same cause of complaint does not exist. 

The ravages of field mice are as injurious in some Mice, 
districts as those of cockchafers in others. They attack 
the fields of newly-sown grain and the ripened corn, cut- 
ting the stalks with their teeth to bring down the ear ; 
they lodge themselves in the sheaves, and so are carried 
to the stack-yard or the barn ; they can often be heard 
cracking the corn on passing near the stacks ; if the 
corn be not thrashed they will soon leave nothing but 
chafi^j throughout the West of France the farmers are 
obliged to thrash soon after harvest for fear of the loss 
these animals would cause. Traps are laid for them of 
jars half filled with water placed in trenches, into which 
the mice fall. One farmer found 263 mice so caught in 
one night, and in one commune as much as 7 cwt. of 
phosphorus paste has been used to destroy them in a 
single season. 



A board with instructions, of which the following is PubKc 
a translation, has been put up in every rural commune 
in France : — 



130 WILD BOARS. 

" This board is placed under tlie protection of tlie common sense 
and honesty of the public. 

" Hedgehog. Lives upon mice, snails, and wireworms — animals 
injurious to agriculture. Don't kill a hedgehog. 

" Toad. Helps agriculture ; destroys twenty to thirty insects 
hourly. Don't kill toads. 

" Mole. Destroys wireworms, larvae, and insects injurious to the 
farmer. No trace of vegetables is ever found in his stomach j does 
more good than harm. Don't kill moles. 

" Cockchafer and his larvae ; deadly enemy to farmers ; lays 70 
to 100 eggs. Kill the cockchafer. 

" Birds. Each department of France loses yearly many millions 
of francs by the injury done by insects. Birds are the only enemies 
capable of battling with them victoriously ;' they are great helps to 
farmers. Children, don't take birds' nests." 

FHes. Flies are great tormentors, but less so than would be 
supposed from the quantity seen upon the cattle. The 
legs of horses and cattle are black with them, but except 
for an occasional stamp no notice seems taken of them. 
They vary in different districts, and it would appear 
that the animals in the same district get used to them, 
but cannot stand the attacks of strans^er flies. Moved 
from one district to another covered with flies, they are 
patient enough, but become wild when attacked by a 
single fly of a sort to which they have not been accus- 
tomed, and the imported flies moving on to the cattle in 
the district to which they have been brought, have the 
same efiect upon the native cattle that the native flies 
have on the imported cattle. 

Wild YoY some years past wild boars have greatly in- 
creased in the woods in France, which are very thick, 



WILD BOARS. 



131 



and the orders for their destruction issued by the 
authorities are very imperfectly obeyed. A general 
battue is ordered, but as game -pre servers do not care 
to have their coverts disturbed, there are always some 
places where the boars can take refuge without any 




"WILD BOAR AT BAY. 



danger of being molested. Fields near woods are over- 
run every night, and this year (1874) many crops in 
Seine-et-Oise and Seine-et-Marne have been so injured, 
that they have been harvested more for the sake of clearing 
the ground than for the value of the produce. A farmer 
writes in 1876 from the department of the Yosges, 
that the boars do not confine themselves to destroying 
crops near forests, but they often go to fields far from 
J 2 



132 WILD BOARS, 

the woods. It has got to such a pitch, that it is only 
by watching all night that he and many others have 
been able to save a part of their crops. Now that the 
cold weather is coming on, this occupation will cease to 
be possible, and the autumn corn will be destroyed, if 
sown ; it would be wiser not to sow it. No one seems 
to try and destroy these animals ; the law which permits 
owners to do so when they are found on their land is a 
ridiculous nullity. Unless some serious steps are taken to 
kill the boars down, scores of farms must be given up. 

It is not wholly in such wild countries as the 
Yosges that boars are numerous ; in populous Nor- 
mandy they are to be found in some quantities. In 
October, 1876, a band of a dozen charged down the 
high street of Bernay, a town of 7,000 inhabitants, 
while at the same moment another band crossed the 
open country from one forest to another. In the same 
year they were reported as visiting the villages in 
Perigord in troops. 

A landowner had to take a farm off the hands of a 
tenant, in consequence of the continual destruction of 
the crops by wild boars. He makes a complaint to the 
prefet, who does not reply ; on a second complaint 
being forwarded, an answer comes to say that a general 
battue for the destruction of the wild boars has been 
ordered to be organised. The proprietor writes to the 
official master of wolfhounds, whose duty it is to 
superintend the battue ; he also communicates with 
several members of the council of the department, and 
with the mayors of the communes in which the battue 



WILD BOARS. 133 

is to take place. The master of the wolfhounds takes 
no notice of the communication ; the members of the 
council speak to the prefet, who replies that he has 
done his part in ordering the battue ; the mayors say ' 
they cannot move without the master of the wolf- 
hounds, who, on being applied to again, refers the 
applicant back to the prefet, and states that when an 
order, duly signed by that authority, shall have been 
served upon him, he will give orders to the official 
forester, who will see to the execution of the order. 
The landowner, not caring to be beaten, writes again 
to every one all round \ the master of the wolfhounds 
preserves a discreet silence, and the only answer given 
is by one of the council, who says that he gave up a 
pack of boarhounds that he had formed, in consequence 
of the many difficulties thrown in his way when boar- 
hunting. In the end, no battue took place ; and the 
boars continue their ravages without let or hindrance. 
This example of how not to do the work required 
occurred in the district in which are situated the 
chateau and large forests of Baron Eothschild, in Seine- 
et-Marne, and in a country where game is largely pre- 
served, and is a confirmation of the opinion that as long 
as the destruction of animals which give sport is left in 
the hands of " trae sportsmen " — that is, of those who 
enjoy the killing of animals for the sake of sport — it is 
absurd to expect that the destruction will take place. 

The climate and soil of France are very suitable for Game- 
game, which breeds largely. Where the holdings are 



134 GAME, 

very small and population thick, game cannot exist, but 
everywhere else there is an abundance. In any open 
country, called in France "la plaine," partridges breed 
and rear large coveys. Many hundreds of nests are lost 
yearly from the hen bird being destroyed, or disturbed, 
in the small patches of clover or lucerne where she has 
her nest. A keeper in Beauce has stated that he has 
lost as many as 1,100 nests in one season when cover 
was scarce and the lucerne patches most resorted to for 
nests. 

The shooting is open to any one, unless notice is 
put up that it is reserved, such notice being indicated by 
a wisp of straw or a placard, and in the open country 
and on unpreserved land it is easy enough for one gun 
to get from ten up to twenty brace in a morning's 
shooting, and in the first days of the season in a good 
game country, such as La Beauce. This chance does 
not last long; within a week the birds pack, or are 
driven to the preserved grounds, and from that time no 
good shooting can be got except where there is cover, 
and where the ground is preserved. In these latter 
cases the shooting is always good, that is, for partridges, 
quail, hares, and rabbits. 

Pheasants are to some extent artificially reared, 
though perhaps less so than in England. Once turned 
down in suitable places, and kept from being disturbed, 
they breed very freely ; but where a good head of game 
is wanted the same pains must be taken as in England. 
There seems more fancy in the rearing of pheasants in 
France, and party-coloured birds are more common than 



• GAME, 135 

with us. Eacli country house with a domain has a 
pheasantry, into which are introduced hirds from India, 
ohtained at the Jar din d'Acclimatation at Paris, and it is 
no uncommon thing in a preserve to see a bird rise with 
a tail a yard long. Good shooting lets at a high rate. 
An advertisement in August, 1877, offers the Chasse 
d'Ecoublay, Seine- et-Marne, two hours distant from 
Paris, in two lots — one of 670 acres for £240, which is 
something like 7s. per acre, and the other of 487 acres 
for £120, which is 5s. per acre. It is true that the 
advertisement states that a less price might be taken, 
but this must be somewhere about the value. At the 
same time the shooting at Grignon, near Versailles, was 
in the market, consisting of 550 acres, surrounded by a 
stone wall ; £480 was offered for this, which is not far 
from £1 per acre, and it was even rumoured that £800 
had been offered ! In these cases there surely must 
have been a large nnmber of pheasants reared on 
purpose. Any way, these examples show the value of 
shooting in France. 

North of the Loire and through the centre of 
Prance the bir^ we call the French partridge is fully as 
scarce as it is in England, — indeed, it is [not known 
there — it is only found quite in the south. 

The French game laws are very strict, and the 
quantity of game is a great grievance to the farmers in 
many districts ; the chief complaint is against rabbits. 

" The exaggerated increase of game has become 
in some departments the greatest curse of agriculture. 
The poor farmers have often made bitter complaint 



136 



GAME. 



of the damage done by the voracity of rabbits ; they 
have even instituted law proceedings, but their com- 
plaints are never attended to, and their law proceedings 
have rarely done them any good. 

" The law of the 3rd May, 1844, was avowedly 
passed to favour the increase of game. This law makes 
it almost impossible for the farmers to get rid of their 
unwelcome guests — ^the rabbits. Shooting and hunting 
rabbits only are permitted, and experience has shown 
that these two methods are wholly insufficient to keep 
them down ; ferrets and nets, it is true, are authorised, 
but they can only be made use of during the daytime. 
By the same law the prefets can, with the sanction of 
the council of the department, declare what animals 
are to be considered injurious, and how and when they 
may be destroyed ; but in spite of the ardent love of 
agriculture expressed by the prefets, they have not 
succeeded in destroying the evil, which is daily in- 



creasing. 



" In the present state of the law, the courts can 
seldom protect the farmer. Sportsmen, reverencing 
deeply the law when it is favourable to them, stand 
no nonsense when it is against them, and profess un- 
mitigated contempt for the insignificant people who 
are impertinent enough to haul their powerful neigh- 
bours before the courts. Numerous cases have been 
decided to the effect that rabbits existins: in woods 
where they have not been turned do\vn by the owner 
are to be considered as wild animals, for whose pro- 
ceedings the owner of the wood is not responsible, 



RABBITS. 137 

except under those exceptional circumstances where it 
can be shown that the damage was owing to his fault, 
his imprudence, or his neglect. This state of the law 
being brought before the Chamber of Deputies, the 
Committee of the Chamber has reported in favour of 
reverting to the law of 1790, by which every owner, 
occupier, or farmer, was allowed to destroy, at any 
season and by any means, any kind of game or wild 
animal damaging his crops." {Victor JEmion, avocat, 
in the ''Echo Agricole!') 

Two decisions given in the courts in January and Babbits. 
February, 1877, establish the rule that the owner of 
a wood is in no way liable for damage done by rabbits 
if he has not encouraged their multiplication. In one 
case it was shown that the locality was very suitable 
for rabbits, and that they had always existed in large 
numbers ; the owner had shot them down, and had even 
invited his neighbours to kill them. In the other case, 
the owner shot very freely, and it was not proved that if 
the neighbours had assisted they would have reduced 
the quantity. In both these cases, though the damage 
was serious, the owner of the wood gained his verdict. 
In another case, in December, 1876, the shooting of 
the owner was evidently for his own amusement, with 
no attempt to keep down rabbits, and though the 
damage done was small, he had to pay it, as "he 
had omitted to use the most efficacious means to destroy 
them, or had employed those means insufficiently/' 

An action was brought for damage caused by 



138 RABBITS. 

rabbits, and a verdict for £850 was obtained. It was 
proved that the battues did not begin before November, 
1875, and were not frequent enough. This judgment 
was appealed against, and the superior court reversed 
it (January, 1877), holding that the farmers should 
have taken steps to have battues ordered by the prefet 
and by the council of the department, and as they 
had not done so they must submit to the consequences 
of their neglect. The sufferers must have known, either 
by their own experience or that of others, that the 
application to the authorities for a battue would 
have led to a loss of time and temper, and that the 
battues would most certainly never have been ordered 
soon enough to be of any use. 

A strong instance of the stringency of the game- 
laws in France was given at Cambrai, in May, 1877. 
A man walking in his garden saw a partridge weak 
and hardly able to fly. It dropped in his neighbour's 
garden, and v/ith that neighbour's permission he fol- 
lowed and took the bird. Finding it too weak to put 
into his aviary, and too poor to be worth cooking, he 
let it go. He was summoned by a gamekeeper for 
taking game without a licence, and was condemned 
in a penalty of £2 and costs. 

In the department of the Oise there is a society 
for the prosecution of poachers. During the season 
1875-1876, it gave 411 rewards, amounting to £250, 
and three medals, to keepers who had obtained sixty 
convictions, resulting in fines reaching £550, and in 
sentences of imprisonment amounting to twenty-one 



WOLVES. 139 

years. Since the foundation of the society in 1866, 
it has given 2,113 rewards, amounting to £2,000, and 
thirty-one medals. Poaching, nevertheless, flourishes 
side by side with this society. 

Among the wild animals to be found in France, Wolves. 
such as the bear, the fox, the badger, the otter, &c., 
the wolf is the one whose destruction is most essential ; 
the annual loss from sheep devoured, expense of watch- 
ing, cost of buildings in which sheep are confined on 
his account, is something enormous. 

The Comte d'Esterno, who has advocated most 
strongly the destruction of wolves, calculates that in the 
spring there are only about 2,000 wolves in all France, 
and the grounds for this calculation are fairly sound. 
There is no registry of births, and only an imperfect 
one of deaths ; but the average number upon which 
head-money is claimed for destroying them is 1,754. 
Of these, 818 are entered as young wolves — that is, 
wolves born in spring and killed before September 
has expired. Of the 936 older wolves killed after this 
date, 700 were certainly littered in the previous spring ; 
almost every litter is known, and it is reckoned that 
there are 500 that produce an average of five pups, 
making 2,500 young wolves in all ; these 500 litters 
account for 1,000 males and females, the other 1,000, 
to make up the 2,000 stated to exist, consist of sur- 
plus old males, who exceed females by 11 per cent. — 
that is, 110 — and of young wolves unmated, and of 
old females, or of those which have been barren. The 



140 WOLVES, 

700 young wolves killed during the winter are those 
which provide the masters of wolfhounds with sport; 
who either can't kill the old dog wolves, or won't, 
and who do not care to kill the dam or too many 
of the young ones. It would be as reasonable to 
expect that a M.F.H. should kill all the foxes in his 
country as to think that a master of wolfhounds should 
utterly exterminate that which gives him his position 
and the pleasure of enjoying the sport he loves. Each 
litter is routed out, and some of the young are killed, 
but not the mother, and enough young are left to keep 
up the breed, and to console the dam so that she may 
not be too much disgusted with the country. 

These 2,000 wolves each destroy at least £40 worth 
of domestic animals yearly, a total value of £80,000. 
But this is only a very small proportion of the damage 
they cause ; they may only worry 30,000 sheep, but 
they compel the watching and sheltering of the 
30,000,000 sheep of Trance — at least so states M. 
d'Esterno, but with some exaggeration, as the watch- 
ing and housing of sheep is practised in the large 
sheep-producing countries of La Beauce, Brie, Picardy, 
and Artois, where wolves are never heard of, and they 
would still be watched and housed in Berri and else- 
where if every wolf in Erance were killed at once. The 
absence of natural pastures, and the necessity thus 
caused of bringing food to the sheep, makes it more 
convenient to have the sheep in sheds, and the open 
nature of a good deal of the land where the sheep are 
taken out to pasture on the stubble, requires the 



WOLVES. 141 

watching to prevent wandering and trespassing upon 
growing crops. Allowing for all this, the wolves are 
a nuisance, and a very expensive one ; the shelter in 
most places would be of a far less costly character, 
if shelter only, and not protection, were required, and 
much of the watching could be dispensed with by the 
use of hurdles. 

The destruction of this paltry number of animals 
would be neither very troublesome nor very costly, and 
it might be undertaken piecemeal; for wolves have 
this peculiarity, that they rarely stray beyond their 
own locality, so that it might be quite possible to 
destroy all the wolves in a given district without that 
district being invaded by those from the neighbour- 
hood. The vast mass of forests about Compiegne, 
consisting of some 45,000 acres, is absolutely free from 
wolves, though formerly they abounded there ; they 
were all killed down, and no others have come in 
from other districts. A small commune at Mesvre, 
near Autun, was infested with them fifty years ago, 
when a dozen good shots destroyed the whole, and 
for eighteen years not a wolf showed himself. At 
this moment (January, 1876) a dead horse may be 
seen in the forest of Morvand, near Lucenay L'Eveque. 
The carcase has been there for forty days, in a locality 
once the rendezvous of all the wolves of the country ; 
it has remained untouched, although the snow has 
driven the wolves from the high grounds, and though 
many have been seen within seven or eight miles, and 
though a sheep was carried off from an adjoining parish. 



142 ' WOLVES. 

The want of will, or want of ability, on the part of 
the official masters of hounds to destroy wolves has 
caused an order to be addressed to the prefets of the 
departments by the Minister of the Interior, dated 
the 7th of December, 1875, in which, after observing 
that he has received complaints from several depart- 
ments of the considerable injury done by wolves, and 
notably that in one spot, out of a flock of 397 sheep, 
seventy-two were worried to death and twenty- eight 
wholly carried off, he points out that it is by no 
means necessary that the authority of these official 
M. W. H's. should be obtained to order a general 
battue — it is quite sufficient that such an assembly 
should be ordered by the prefet, and organised by 
the mayor of the commune, or by the officer of the 
gendarmes. 

But M. de Cherville, a M.W.H. and a thorough 
sportsman, doubts very much whether these battues 
ordered by the prefet or the mayor are likely to be very 
•effective. His own exjDerience leads him to quite a 
contrary opinion. A great battue is arranged, thirty or 
forty wild boars or wolves come within shot . of the 
sportsman, only one is killed ; the wounded, according 
to report, are to be counted by dozens, but they seem 
'' not a penny the worse " — they never turn up. "Is it, 
he says, "worth while to bring out three or four hundred 
good fellows for such a miserable result ? One man who 
knows his business, with a couple of good dogs, would 
have given a better account. Wolves are more difficult 
to approach than boars, and unless a battue against 



WOLVES. _ 143 

them be most carefully managed, it will fail nine times 
out of ten." 

'' We Frenchmen want that instinct of discipline 
so necessary on these occasions. The firearms with 
which the men provide themselves are but a small 
matter, though bad enough ; it is the spirit of insubor- 
dination in the troops furnished by the mayor which 
must be seen to be appreciated. The hunt is but a 
pretext ; the good fellows who come to the meet 
think .much less of the wolf than of amusing them- 
selves. In vain the poor M..W.H. begs them to put 
a stop to their fooleries — the thunder of heaven would 
not be attended to ; every one has his advice to 
give, and when at last the men are placed, as they 
are too far from each other to talk, some take to 
smoking, the majority bang away at everything that 
comes along, from a stag to a thrush. There is lead 
for everything, the beaters included- — specially, indeed, 
for them ; the only thing that escapes without a fair 
share of projectiles is -the wolf himself, who, warned of, 
the reception intended for him by the unwonted stir in 
the neighbourhood, has long ago shown a clean pair of 
heels." A battue is, indeed, often only a legalised 
poaching affair, as those who attend may on that day 
shoot without a gun-licence. 

Those who suffer from wolves esteem M. d'Esterno's 
calculation of the numbers to be far under the mark. 
In the department of the Dordogne, in January, 1876, 
there seems almost a panic about the wolves. "For 
centuries, probably, we have never had such an invasion. 



144 WOLVES, 

Thirty have been killed within a very short space of 
time, and we hear daily of others ; last week three were 
killed and a fourth wounded in a space of three square 
leagues, without stopping the depredations in that 
locality. They attack not only animals and poultry, 
but even men. At half-past eight one morning, in 
broad daylight, an enormous wolf attacked a man 
within forty yards of his own house ; later on, the same 
wolf knocked down and wounded severely two old men ; 
towards midday he attacked and wounded two others. 
He was eventually shot, and proved, on measurement, to 
be over five feet from the tip of the nose to the stump 
of the tail. The prefet applied to the Government for 
a gold medal to be given to the destroyer, and it was 
proposed that a subscription should be opened to give 
the man a testimonial." It is supposed this wolf was 
mad, as two of the persons he had bitten had died, and 
the three others were not likely to live. 

Man-eating wolves have existed in France in all 
times. In 1439 fourteen people were eaten by wolves 
in Paris between Montmartre and the Gate of St. 
Antoine, wliich was then, however, outside the walls of 
Paris; in 16G0 the Marquis de Beauveau states that 
315 wolves were killed within a range of eight miles 
round Nancy ; in the early days of Louis XIV. it 
is reported that 300 people were eaten by wolves in the 
one province of the Gatinais. There may be exaggera- 
tion in these accounts, but from 1763 to 1771 man- 
eating wolves undoubtedly were far from uncommon 
over a large part of Prance. In 1764 one brute, 



WOLVES. 145 

commonly known as the " wild beast of the Gevaudan, 
created a panic over several provinces. He had killed 
outright forty-six persons, and wounded seventy-one 
others, chiefly women and girls, and the battues organised 
to destroy him were upon a scale unequalled either 
before or since. The inhabitants of tw^enty, forty, and 
even 100 parishes united to compass his destruction; and 
the Bishop of Mende ordered public prayers, and exposed 
the host. This animal escaped all attempts to destroy 
him for eighteen months, when he was at last killed, on 
the 10th of September, 1765, by the king's wolfhounds, 
which were sent from Paris. When dead he weighed 
150 lbs. ; he was 32 inches high, 5 feet 9 inches long, 
and had forty teeth, the usual number being twenty-six. 
In 1816 and 1817 two wolves on the banks of the 
Saone, near Dijon, ate thirty-four people in a year and a 
half; people are still (1875) living who saw them. M. 
d'Esterno says he has w^eighed about forty wolves, but 
never found one over 78 lbs., the smallest being 54 lbs., 
and the average 65 lbs. They were, however, wolves 
from a poor mountainous district, and though 150 lbs. 
seems a monstrous weight, it may be true that wolves 
have reached that. 

There are, no doubt, more wolves in France now than 
there were some years ago. In 1870 all shooting was 
prohibited, and in 1871 it had not been taken up. Two 
years' freedom from molestation allowed them to increase, 
and they have increased in numbers and in ferocity. 
The formalities necessary to go through before they can 
be destroyed after they appear, give them time to escape 

K 



146 WOLVES. 

pursuit, and the rewards for destroying thein are too 
small to make tlieir destruction a profitable occupation. 
18 francs for a female in young, 15 for one barren, 
12 francs for a full-grown male wolf, and 6 francs 
for a young one, are ridiculously low ; a man will not 
lie out all night for so small a payment, and even from 
these 1 franc is deducted for the stamped receipt. The 
Agricultural Society has recommended 50 francs for a 
bitch in pup, 40 fot a bitch not in pup, 20 for a young 
wolf, and 150 for a man-eater. The Minister of Agri- 
culture has advised the adoption of this rule, but the 
Home Minister, with whom lies the decision, has replied 
by giving a long string of authorities to show that the 
battues of wolves may be organised without applying to 
the M.W.H. We have seen how inefficient these 
battues are, and how they may be abused, and the 
reward now obtainable is too small to induce other 
means, such as strychnine. A dead horse, in which 
strychnine would be administered, in itself costs 15 
francs. That this method is effectual is shown by the 
result of the proceedings of a keeper near Dole, who laid 
a bait with strychnine in the forest of roullenay, near 
Chaumergy, in the Jura, and the following morning 
found five large wolves dead ; and on another occasion 
he found three. 

The result of the movement of M. d'Esterno has been 
that (Nov., 1876) the Home Minister has proposed a change 
in the law which will permit the destruction of wolves at 
any time and in any manner without further authority, 
except by poison, which must be done by arrangement. 



WOLVES, 147 

The rewards to be increased to £4 for a bitch in pup, 
JS3 3s. for a wolfs head, 32s. for that of a youi^g wolf, 
and £6 for a wolf which has attacked human beings. 
The battues can be ordered at any time by the prefets, 
and will be placed under the direction of the surveyors 
of the forests, who will select the people to assist in 
them. This is a virtual suppression of the office of 
master of wolfhounds. 

Hamerton, in his "Sylvan Year," 1876, gives the 
following account of wolves in Burgundy : — 

" The neighbourhood of our valley was frequently 
visited by wild boars, which of late years had been more 
numerous than ever, whilst the wolves were becoming 
rarer. The peasants affirm that tbis is an inevitable 
law, that the wolf and the wild boar always increase or 
diminish inversely. Why this is so, I have not yet been 
able to ascertain, for these animals do not make war 
upon each other ; but there may be a mutual jealousy or 
dishke. However, although the wolves may be rarer in 
the forest than they have been in former years, there are 
still quite enough of them to occupy the attention of the 
shepherds on its outskirts. About the middle of De- 
cember I happened to witness an incident which is not 
very rare. A few sheep were grazing quietly in a little 
sloping pasture along the wood's edge, when an animal 
first crept out cautiously, and then rushed at the nearest 
sheep. That animal was a wolf, and his immense 
strength was proved by his manner of de?- ling with his 
victim. He got his head under the sheep's belly, and 
threw her weight upon his own neck, her four feet 
k2 



148 



WOL VES, 



beating tlie air. Holding lier quite firmly in this position 
with, his teeth, the wolf had strength enough to gallop 
very rapidly up the steep slope back to the impenetrable 
density of the copsewood, where it was of no use trying 




WOiF CARRYING OFF A SHEEP. 



to follow him. Now, the wolf in this country is not a 
very large animal, and a feat like this implies a degree 
of muscular and constitutional power which is relatively 
enormous. I could not help admiring the courage of 
the little shepherdess wliose liock had been thus suddenly 
invaded. She was very much irritated at the impudence 
of the wolf, but not alarmed by his ferocity, and she 
threw her wooden shoe after him as an expression of 
most earnest though inefficacious hostility, uttering at 
the same time sentiments of her own in patois of extra- 
ordinary volubility, which were certainly not benedictions. 
Tlie ofiil's father told me afterwards that on one occasion 
she had actually beaten a wolf till he retreated ; and 



WOLVES.- 149 

there are so many anecdotes of a similar character that 
I infer a certain human influence over these animals, 
which, as they are of canine race, may have something 
of canine deference for humanity." 

A pamphlet, published at St. Petersburg, from which 
some extracts were given in the Times of August 24, 
1876, relates some curious instances of the voracity of 
wolves and their tenacity of life. In two or three hours, 
it states, a pair of wolves will eat the half of a horse 
weighing 7 cwt., they themselves not weighing more 
than 1 cwt. 

A wolf fell into a trap and lost its right foot ; on . 
three legs it rushed out of the wood and seized a sucking 
pig tied by hunters to the rear of a sledge ; it was hit 
by a bullet in the left leg, but ran on for fourteen miles, 
and was killed running. 

They have a dangerous trick of appearing to be 
dead. A peasant found a. wolf apparently dead, he 
beat him with a cudgel and took him home for the sake 
of his skin. In the night he heard a noise, and saw the 
wolf on the table, who flew at the man's throat and 
killed him. In forty-five Eussian governments 741,000 
head of cattle were destroyed in the year 1873 by wolves, 
and they were valued at more than £1,000,000. The 
number of wolves in Russia cannot be less than 170,000; 
and they eat 200,000,000 head of feathered game alone. 
In the one government of Kalouga they killed in the 
above year 8,200 geese, and more than 2,000 dogs. The 
annual loss to the country from wolves is estimated to 
average quite £600,000, besides human lives, of which 
200 are taken annually. 



NOEMANDY. 



" All the arable part of ISTormandy is a rich, friable, sandy loam, to 
a great depth ; that from Bernay to Elboeuf can scarcely be exceeded ; 
four to five feet deep, of a reddish brown loam on a chalk bottom 
and without a stone. As to the pastures of the same province, we 
have, I believe, nothing in England or Ireland equal to them ; I hold 
the Yale of Limerick to be inferior. As to arable land, I did not see 
a well cultivated acre in the whole province. You find everywhere 
either a dead and useless fallow, or else the" fields so neglected, run 
out, and covered with weeds, that there can be no crop proportioned 
to the soil." — Arthur Young, 1788. 

" When, in the last century, a man who united great powers of 
observation with a perfect knowledge of agriculture, Arthur Young, 
visited this country, he judged severely the farming in Calvados. 
He little thought how largely Great Britain would become dependent 
on this same country for much of its food." — Drouyn de l'Huys. 



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NORMANDY, 153 

It seems quite natural to begin any attempt at the 
description of the farming of France with Normandy, 
so like in many respects to England ; indeed, M. de 
Lavergne says, " Normandy is England," and Freeman, 
" Nowhere out of the old Saxon and Frisian lands can 
we find another portion of continental Europe which is 
so truly a brother-land of our own as the country of Le 
Bessin in Normandy. The blood of the inhabitants of 
Le Bessin must be composed of nearly the same ele- 
ments, and in nearly the same proportions, as the blood 
of the inhabitants of the Danish districts of England. 
The kindred speech is gone, but everything else remains. 
The land is decidedly not French ; men, beasts, every- 
thing, are distinctly of a grander and better type than 
their fellows in the mere French districts ; the general 
aspect of the land, its fields, its hedges, all have an 
English look." The similarity of race should hardly 
have been limited to the district of Le Bessin, as the 
Cotentin is as Teutonic as any part of Normandy. 
The Cotentin is most Danish, Le Bessin most Saxon, 
and both of them were longer in becoming French than 
the other parts of the duchy ; William had to conquer 
them both, which he did with the help of the French 
king before he conquered England, but he found his 
strongest support in the English enterprise from among 
the people of these two districts, and no names among 
his followers are more prominent than those of Geoffrey, 
Bishop of Coutances, the capital of the Cotentin, who 
became Earl of Northumberland, and Odo, Bishop of 
Bayeux, the capital of the Bessin, who was Earl of Kent. 



154 NORMANDY. 

Here "and tlirough. Normandy owners live on their 
properties : the houses and cottages are in good repair 
and tidy, the hedges well trimmed, the gates in good 
order, and the roads excellent ; in this latter respect the 
comparison is by no means in favour of our own coun- 
try. There are more labourers regularly employed in 
farm- work, and there are fewer poor, than in any other 
part of France, and wages are as high as anywhere in 
England. The people have the reputation of extreme 
prudence ; the families are among the smallest in France; 
the population has at all times increased less rapidly 
than elsewhere, differing in this respect from English- 
men, and also from the Normans who emigrated to 
Canada two centuries ago : it is known that eighty 
famihes went to Canada from the Norman village of 
Touronne, and it is estimated that these eighty fami- 
lies have now 300,000 descendants. It is remarkable 
that the population of Normandy has, in the face of 
continued prosperity, decreased more rapidly than else- 
where in France, for whereas the decrease through 
France between the census of 1872 and the previous 
one of 1866 was 1'29 per cent., in Normandy it was 
4*48, higher than that of any other province ; it is pro- 
bable that some of this decrease may be owing to the 
cessation of works at Cherbourg. 

Popula- The population of the four Norman departments, 
tion. . , . . 

Manche, Calvados, Orne, and Eure (Seine Infeneure is 

not included, because the land and farming are more like 

those in Picardy) is 189 to the square mile, very 



NORMANDY. 155 

nearly four acres to each inliabitant, and amounts to 
1,739,034 ; it is returned as being half living collected 
together, and half scattered about the country — a very 
different state of things to that of most parts of France, 
where the isolated dwellings are few, in some places 
to the amount of only one-tenth, which gives the coun- 
try a bare and desolate appearance. Of this population 
one-fifth is returned as urban, and four-fifths as rural, 
indicating a paucity of towns and an abundance of 
villages ; indeed, there are only fourteen towns with 
more than 6,000 inhabitants. It must not be supposed, 
however, that four-fifths of the people are wholly em- 
ployed in rural occupations : manufactures of various 
kinds are carried on in the cottages in small villages, and 
even in the farm-houses ; a large half of the inhabitants 
is engaged in industrial occupations. M. de Lavergne 
says that if he were called upon to name the happiest part 
of France, he should, without hesitation, name Normandy. 

In point of education Normandy compares favour- Education. 
ably with other provinces, the number of those above 
six years of age who can neither read nor write being 
21i per cent. ; the average of France is 30f per cent. 

These four departments contain nearly 7,000,000 1^^^*^- 
acres, of which more than half are arable; nearly 
1,000,000 permanent grass, mostly in Calvados and 
Orne ; over 200,000 acres waste, the half of which is 
in Manche ; and 600,000 acres wood, half being in 
Eure. 



156 NORMANDY, 

In tlie open country where the land is stifle, the 
farms are large ; they are very small in the valleys, and 
on the slopes of the hills, and where the land is light. 
In the plain of Neuhonrg, in Eure, the holdings are very 
small, and the properties much divided ; this is no new 
thing, they have heen so for centuries. This plain is 
very hadly provided with water, hut the soil is very 
rich, and most highly cultivated. 

The Norman farmers carry the " let well alone " 
principle very far, especially as regards improved in- 
struments ; at the show at Caen, in August, 1875, 
M. Drouyn de THuys, the President of the Societe des 
Agriculteurs de Prance, felt called upoD to express his 
regret at not seeing in the Norman farms better ex- 
amples of the " artillery of agriculture." A large half 
of the soil of Normandy is of poor quality, but where it 
is good, " a finer soil than this province possesses in 
general can hardly be seen. Some of the finest arable 
land in the world . . . thirty- seven bushels of wheat to the 
acre, in 1790." On this land there is no special cultiva- 
tion, except that of rape for crushing, of which the area 
in Calvados, 80,000 acres, exceeds that of any other 
department. Artificial grasses, more especially trifolium, 
are largely grown, and the crops of all kinds are good, 
but turnips do not seem to succeed, nor is the land 
under sugar-beet extensive, but the pride of Normandy 
is in its rich pastures. " Nothing can be said too great 
of the rich pasturages which are applied to fattening 
bullocks to the highest advantage. The grazing lands 
of the Pays d'Auge, of which the valley of Corbon is the 



NORMANDY, 157 

most famous, class with the finest in the world. As to 
the pastures of the same province, we have, I believe, 
nothing either in England or Ireland equal to them ; 
I hold the Yale of Lirderick to be inferior." {Young?) 

Ovrer 1,000,000 sheep, 830,000 head of cattle, stock. 
260,500 horses stock this fine country. 

Normandy is not a great sheep-producing country. Sheep. 
Half of the total number are in the department of 
Eure, and they are improving by crossing with 
Leicesters, and, to some extent, with Downs. The 
merino crosses are not in favour ; indeed, the same may 
be said of all Normandy, as merinos do not succeed near 
the sea, and, with the exception of those fed upon the 
salt-marshes, Normandy has nothing to boast of in the 
way of its sheep. It makes the most, however, of that 
which is a peculiarity, and mutton from the salt-marshes 
of Normandy is exhibited in the butchers' shops of 
Paris with much the same display as that from the 
Forest of Clun is in London. The description of the 
sheep exhibited at a show at St. Lo by a well-informed 
writer is far from flattering: — "They are as full of 
faults as they can be : high on their legs, narrow- 
chested, angular, bony;" but he has hopes for the 
future, as he says the Leicesters are destined to replace 
the old race, so faulty in every respect. 

The cattle are almost wholly the native breed, called battle. 
Norman, or Cotentin, and have a higher reputation 



158 



NORMANDY. 



than any in France for their production of butter ; 
no butter in Europe, indeed, makes so high a price 
as that produced from the milk of these Norman cows. 




NORMAN BULL. 



The colour is generally brindled, black or red. The 
old, unimproved breed were long in the leg, heavy about 
the neck and shoulders, flat- sided, long in the body, and 
narrow-chested. The females are better-looking than 
the males, and now and then one is shown which seems 
an almost perfect animal, short in the leg, small in the 
bone, fleshy, and yet a good milker; but such an animal 
is seldom seen, and certainly would have some small 
infusion, but very small, of shorthorn blood. The 
breeders generally are most unwilling to admit the 
smallest cross of the shorthorn, but it has been partially 
introduced by some, who maintain that the cross 
diminishes the bone, increases the flesh, and does not 
decrease the milk ; it has also the q^rcat advantasre of 



NORMANDY, 159 

encouraging early maturity, tlie IN'orman breed not 
getting into anything like good form under two years, 
and requiring six before it is properly fit for the butcher. 
The size which is attained by these oxen at full age is 
enormous. The fat ox used in the annual procession in 
Paris was mostly chosen from this breed, and sometimes 
exceeded 550 stone of 8 lbs., close on 40 cwt. The 
heaviest beast at the London Cattle Show weighs 25 i 
cwt. The meat is also considered superior to that of the 
shorthorn, which is probably true enough. Meat forced 
by artificial food given to animals who never leave the 
stall can hardly be as good as that from animals fed upon 
rich grass, and not forced; and the ISTorman cattle are 
always out-of-doors. 

In Orne the shorthorn cross is much more common 
than it is in Calvados or Manche. Orne has no local 
breed, has not the pastures which enable it to produce 
the rich butter which makes the fortune of Calvados, nor 
the reputation which brings buj^ers from all parts of 
France for the stock of Manche, whence 1,000 in-calf 
heifers, and from which department and from Calvados 
together 270,000 head of cattle, including calves, are 
sold every year, chiefly for dairy purposes. No French 
breed of cattle is so largely used out of its own locality 
as the Norman. Orne has, however, some fine specimens 
of the cross of the Norman and the shorthorn, but does 
not equal the produce of the cross of the shorthorn 
with the breed of Maine ; indeed, of all the races with 
which the cross has been tried, and which have had any 
amount of fair success, that with the Norman has been 



160 NORMANDY, 

the least successful, and tliat with the breed of Maine 
the most. 

The attention called to the improvement of stock 
by the discussion as to the value of shorthorn blood 
has had the important effect of improving the breed by 
more careful selection of sires of the same race, and all 
the stock is better than it was ; the framework of bone 
has diminished, the haunches are more spread, the 
thighs are thicker, the head is smaller, back and loins 
are broader and more level ; all said to be produced by 
careful selection. But one cannot help suspecting that 
it has been assisted by a shorthorn cross, a suspicion 
energetically denied by the Norman breeders, who insist 
that the native race requires no external aid to help it 
to perfection. At the show at Alengon in 1873, the 
judges disqualified every cow which showed the smallest 
trace of the shorthorn; whereas at Chartres, in 1877, 
every head of the 1G9 entries of ^N^orman stock had 
certainly some shorthorn blood. The Norman graziers 
who fatten stock so largely for the Paris market make 
no complaint of the shorthorn cross, but they draw 
their supplies of store beasts very largely from Maine 
and Anjou. A hundred thousand grass -fed beasts leave 
the fine Norman pastures yearly. 

gutter. The hesitation on the part of the farmers to make 
any change will be understood when we consider the 
wonderful milk-producing properties of the Cotentin 
breed. In Le Bessin, near Isigny, there are farms 
that sell £1,000 worth of butter 3'early : the opinion 



NORMANDY. 161 

among the farmers is that the smallest cross of the ^^**^®- 
shorthorn would reduce the yield of milk from twenty 
quarts a day, which they get now from a newly- calved 
cow, to fourteen or fifteen. 

This care in keeping to the purity of the blood is Butter. 
receiving its reward. The exportation of butter from 
France has increased from 480,000 cwt. in 1872 to 
740,000 cwt. in 1874, this last amount representing 
218,750,000 gallons of milk, equal to the produce of 
400,000 cows giving six quarts of milk a day. The 
money value of this to the farmer was, in 1872, 
£2,320,000 ; in 1874, £3,600,000 ; in 1876, the export 
exceeded 800,000 cwts., and was worth very close 
upon £4,000,000 ; and this enormous manufacture leaves 
all the buttermilk, skim-milk, and manure at home for 
the benefit of the country. This exportation is made to 
various countries, to Belgium as well as to England, 
and nearly 3,000 tons go to South America and the 
West Indies. The total importation into England 
from all countries was, in 1875, 1,500,000 cwt., of the 
value of £8,500,000 sterling; in 1876, it was 1,700,000 
cwt., value £9,700,000 ; and has increased to this point 
from 1,000,000 cwt., value £6,000,000, ten years pre- 
viously. Of the export in 1876, 600,000 cwt. came to 
England, so that we draw considerably more than one- 
third of our foreign butter supply from France. The 
most important house for this export trade, the com- 
mission upon whose business in London is said to be 
worth £8,000 a year, is managed by a woman, and 
thoroughly well managed too. The brand at Isigny 

L 



162 NORMANDY. 

Butter. i^^X makes tlie highest price is that of M. Demagny : in 
1876 his minim-am price for salted butter was £7 7s. 
per cwt., and his maximum, £10 10s., taken at Isigny; 
his sales during the year reached £160,000, mostly for 
export to the Brazils. Isigny butter makes 2s. 9d. 
per lb. retail at Rio Janeiro, which is 3d. per lb. higher 
than that of its chief competitor, the butter from Den- 
mark ; but sometimes the difference in favour of Isigny 
reaches 9d. per lb. During the same year the lowest 
price paid at Copenhagen for salted butter for export 
was £7 2s. 6d. per cwt., and the highest £8 12s., in 
both cases for first qualities. 

At the show held at Paris yearly, the contest for the 
"blue riband" of the butter exhibition always rests 
between that from Isigny, in Calvados, and that from 
Gournay, in Seine Inferieure, and as the show is 
always held during the winter, Isigny is always vic- 
torious, the fine pastures in Le Bessin enabhng the 
farmers to keep, up the flavour. The Isigny men 
assert that if the contest were held in the height of 
summer the result would be the same ; but, at any rate, 
the contest would be more close, as the grass at 
Gournay, which fails in winter, comes nearer to an 
equality with that of its rival in summer. The open 
market confirms the opinion of the judges, for whereas, 
throughout the winter, Isigny butter makes more than 
3s. per lb. wholesale by auction at Paris, that from 
Gournay makes only 2s. In summer Isigny drops to 
2s., and Gournay does not get much be3^ond Is. 6d. 
This excess in price may, however, be partly owing to 



NORMANDY, 163 

the name, and it is quite possible that one may be as ^"*^®^ 
good as the other at that season ; at all events, the 
gentlemen for Grournay say so ; they contend, indeed, 
that their butter in summer is firmer than that from 
Isigny, which "runs into oil." At Paris, in 1875, 
350 samples of butter were exhibited, and when the 
fifteen best had been selected, and placed in the order 
of their merit, one of the judges, to test the delicacy of 
his palate, turned his back to the table, and had a piece 
of each of the fifteen presented to him, when he placed 
the whole fifteen in precisely the same order as had 
t)een agreed upon by the judges. 

The care in the manufacture at Isigny is something 
excessive, and much of the superiority of the quality is 
attributed to this : the hand never touches the butter, 
it is always beaten up in cloths, the utensils are of 
marvellous cleanliness, and if a drop of milk or cream 
falls on the floor it is at once sluiced away. 

But a cry comes up from the seat of this fine pro- 
duce — a cry such as is heard from every manufacture in 
a time of great activity. There is a shortness of hands 
to labour, the trade is threatened with ruin from the 
desertion of the women farm-servants. A craving for a 
town life draws them from the country. Wages as high 
as those they can obtain in towns are ofiered them in 
vain; the evil has arrived at such a pitch that many 
[farmers have ceased making butter, and turn their fine 
; pastures to the fattening of cattle. The cause of the 
jevil may, perhaps, be found in the decrease of popula- 
ition already noticed. The Normans might be the better 
l2 ■ 



164 NORM AND Y. 

Butter. •£ they were somewhat less prudent, and if they had 
more of the Englishman's trust in the power of families 
to make a living for themselves in a world which seems 
to want nothing so much as more inhabitants, and to 
produce more the more it is called upon. 

The butter is perfectly made at the dairies, but not 
salted there, or prepared for exportation. It is taken to 
the market towns, and there purchased by dealers whose 
trade it is to send it either in its fresh state, duly made 
up in small sizes for immediate sale, or slightly salted 
for later use, or more highly salted for longer preserva- 
tion or for export. It is sent off in large earthenware ' 
jars, or tinned, or in cold weather merely in baskets, 
the butter being wrapped in cloth. The market during 
the butter season at one of these towns is a most curious 
sight, the whole place is yellow mth the enormous piles 
of butter ; great lumps, weighing some hundredweights, 
are placed on stalls, which the dealers visit and taste, 
and bargain for Avith the usual noise and huckstering 
attendant on French tradino:. 

1 

Cheese. Butter is not the only produce which Normandy! 
obtains from its cows ; cheese, though to an extent far 
inferior to its congener, attests to the value of its breed 
of cattle, and to the richness of its pastures. Le Bessin, 
at the western extremity of Calvados, is the country ofJ 
the first ; the " Pays d'Auge," at the eastern extremity, 
" whose grazing-lands are superior to anything we have I 
in Ens^land or Ireland," furnish the latter. Several 



NORMANDY, 165 

kinds are produced — the Camembert, Livarol, Pont Cheese. 
I'Eveque, and Marolles, named after the localities where 
they are made ; they are all soft and small cheeses. 
The total value made in the department in 1865 was 
£107,000; in 1873 it had increased to £180,000. Of 
this amount Camemhert supplies certainly £40,000 
worth ; and as it is the most important, so it is the 
most generally known out of its own country, and 
according to the decision of the jury at the Paris Exhi- 
bition in 1874, the most appreciated in it, for it then 
carried off the Champion Gold Medal against the three 
other kinds of cheese which had each obtained the gold 
medal of their classes, viz., the Brie, the Gruyere, and 
the Coulommiers, and no wonder, as the reporter of the 
jury says, " it surpasses in delicacy everything that the 
ingenuity of the cheese manufacturer has been able to 
invent to flatter the most fastidious palate.'' In 1875 
and in 1876 the Camembert lost its pride of place, the 
champion medal falling in 1875 to the Eoquefort, and 
in 1876 to the Gruyere, which does not necessarily 
deprive the Camembert of the merit of being really the 
most delicate and agreeable cheese that France produces, 
out of the seventy varieties made in various localities. 
This cheese was first made at Camembert, in Orne, in 
which department the makers are still the most nume- 
rous ; but they are generally on a small scale. There 
are large manufacturers in Calvados, and one of the 
largest, as well as one of the largest graziers, is M. 
Cyrille Paynel, at Mesnil Mauger, near Mezidon. This 
gentleman farms 500 acres, all grass, at a rent of seventy 



166 NORMANDY, 

Cheese. gliiUings per acre. His liolding consists of seven farms; 
130 acres are left for meadowing eacli year; tliey are 
fed off to the first vv^eek in May, and then shut np, and 
he gets an average of a ton of hay to the acre. The 
niilking-cows are from 40 to 50 from the 1st of May to 
the 15th of September, and from 75 to 100 from the 15th 
of September to the 1st of May, this being the cheese- 
making season; there are generally on the farm besides, 
40 to 50 cows which are fatting, 20 calves and heifers, 
30 oxen, and 30 pigs — 18 or 20 of the best heifer-calves 
are kept each year, the rest are sold at a week old. 
The fatting stock is all grass-fed, and always ont-of- 
doors, hay being given in the pastures. The dairy stock 
is all of the Norman breed ; that bought for grazing is 
partly of the Maine breed, much crossed with shorthorn. 
The cows are milked three times a day, winter and 
summer ; at half -past four in the morniug, at mid-day, 
and at six in the evening. 

In 1858, M. Paynel sent 1,242 dozen cheeses 
to Paris, which sold for £296; in the season 1874-5 
he sent 9,090 dozen, which reahsed about £3,000. The 
butter and poor cheeses are sold in the neighbourhood, 
but the butter produce is small compared to that of 
the cheese, only about 2,500 lbs. being made in 1874-5, 
realising about £200. The cheese-room is 46 feet long 
by 18 feet wide, and 800 cheeses can be made in itdail}^ 
The whey is wholly used for fatting pigs, of which the 
stock is doubled during the cheese-making season. 

Poultry. Poultry is a considerable soui'ce of income to the 



NORMANDY. 167 

small farmers in ^Normandy, and many of them pay I'o^i^^y- 
all their rents from their poultry-yard. The fowls 
are almost exclusively of the Crevecoeur breed in its 
different varieties. The number of head of poultry 
in [N^ormandy is 3,500,000 of all kinds; and although 
the value of the whole is estimated at only £240,000, 
the annual value of the fowls' eggs alone is £150,000 
to the farmer. The average produce of each hen is 
nearly 100 eggs, and at this rate they will continue 
to lay for five years, but only about half this quantity 
is really available for the market. In 1875, England 
imported nearly 800,000,000 (eight hundred millions) 
of eggs, valued at more than £2,500,000 including 
charges, of which France furnished five-sixths ; that is, 
more than 2,000,000 for each day in the year. Our 
importations of poultry exceed £300,000, most of which 
comes from France. This supply of eggs and poultry 
comes to us through the ports of Normandy and 
Brittany, but it is obtained from all parts of the 
country, being collected by hucksters. The eggs, 
when delivered at the warehouses of the packers, are 
carefully examined ; each ^^^ is passed before a gas 
jet, and every one that is not quite clear is rejected. 
Eggs of about the same size are always packed together, 
and this, which implies a selection, is really no trouble, 
as certain districts always supply small eggs and others 
large ones. The difference in size arises from the nature 
of the land, not the breed of the fowl, as the breed 
is the same all through the country ; where the land is 
good the eggs are large, where it is poor the eggs are small. 



168 NORMANDY. 

Poultry. ^\\Q excess of production is astonisliiiig when it is 
considered liow large is the home demand, eggs and 
poultry entering into daily consumption in Prance far 
more than in England. Hardly a meal is ever eaten 
in France at any table, above the very poorest, without 
eggs or poultry forming part of it ; and it is quite 
credible that Normandy alone furnishes from one to 
two million head of poultry of various kinds to the 
Paris market yearly, and yet falls behind the supply 
from other provinces, besides providing for its own 
large local consumption. Six milHons of eggs are sold 
weekly in the Paris market — not all for direct con- 
sumption ; an important portion, indeed, is purely for 
manufacturing purposes. Many are used in pastry 
and for glazing ornamental cakes and sweetmeats. One 
large pastrycook buys as many as two millions in the 
year for these purposes. A large dealer uses half a 
million, of which he separates the white from the 
yolk — the white being sent to the manufacturing 
districts in the north, and the yolks being employed 
in dressing skins for gloves. The yolks not required 
by the pastrycooks are salted down, and find a sale 
in Belgium. With all this large surplus production, 
the agricultural writers are continually urging that 
more attention should be paid to poultry-rearing. 
They declare that the production might be easily 
doubled. 

Cider. Normandy has no vineyards, but has her compensa- 
tion in her vast orchards. Cider is the local beverage, 



NORMANDY, 169 

and yields a good profit to tlie farmer without mucli ^^^®^- 
cost. A consideration of what the land might do, if 
cleared of these fruit-trees, would perhaps show that 
it would be better to grub them up on much of the 
land they now occupy ; but this is hardly likely to 
be done, the present profit is too easily earned, and 
the result of the change too uncertain, to render this 
probable, and it would certainly call for a large im- 
mediate outlay. 

But it is through its breeds of horses that N^ormandy Horses. 
is chiefly remarkable, Perche supplying the active strong 
draft-horse, combining strength with speed, in a degree 
unequalled by any other race ; and Merlerault, and the 
neighbourhood of Caen, the celebrated harness-horse, 
called the Anglo-lSTorman. The Percherons have been 
celebrated for ages, but the Anglo-Xormans are of 
comparatively recent creation, dating from about forty 
years, and are the result of crossing Norman mares with 
English blood. The ISTorman horse for carriage- work 
and for mounting heavy cavalry was always esteemed, 
but was coarse and plain. The earliest attempts at 
improvement were made by introducing the English 
thoroughbred sire, with the result of giving some 
excellent produce occasionally, but with too great un- 
certainty. Where size was retained, the legs were often 
too light for the weight, and there was a general ten- 
dency to weediness \ they were, in fact, injudiciously 
crossed, and they looked Hke it. After many experi- 
ments, and through many mistakes, a special breed 



170 NORMANDY. 

H°^'^^® appears to have become definitively establislied — a half- 
bred horse, the offspring of Norman mares and the Nor- 
folk trotter. The English thoroughbred horse, though 
unsatisfactory at first, has probably exercised a favour- 
able influence upon the present breed, as it is hardly 
to be expected that such good animals could be produced 
from the old coarse Norman mare and the Norfolk sire 
but for the amount of blood infused into the Norman 
race. 

One of the most successful breeders was the late 
Marquis de Croix, of Serquigny, an old cavalry ofi&cer 
and large landowner. He began his stud in 1839 mth 
thoroughbred English stock, choosing the stoutest he 
could find, but did not succeed in obtaining the power 
and muscle he sought for. Starting from a fresh point, 
he employed the Anglo-Norman sire, putting him to 
a mare with a larger share of blood ; and he obtained 
a stock with powerful muscle, good bone, and splendid 
action, and was so successful, that the horses he sold 
when fit for work reached the high average of £224. 
On his death, in the summer of 1874, the stud was 
broken up. Seven young mares averaged £130, 8 aged 
mares £174; 12 yearlings £71, 9 two-year-olds £112, 
4 three-year-olds £180, 7 four-year-olds £172, and 10 
horses in use £153 each. Shortl}?- before his death, he 
wrote that if he had to begin again it should be from 
the Norfolk sire and a thoroughbred mare. 

At the exhibition at Vienna in 1873, the entries of 
horses were 420, of which Austria and Hungary sent 
337, Germany 29, Eussia 12, Italy 7, and Eran<?e 35. 



ses. 



NORMANDy. 171 

All these 35 from France were taken by M. Edmond^^^^^ 
De la YiUe, of Bretteville-sur-Odon, near Caen, one of the 
most important breeders and dealers in Normandy. 
They consisted of 31 sires and fonr mares, all half-bred 
Anglo-Normans, and excited great enthusiasm, crowds 
of all classes coming daily to examine them. They 
obtained fifteen prizes and the diploma of honour. The 
emperor purchased two of the mares, one of which, 
Conquete, had won the trotting-race at Eouen in 1872, 
doing the four miles in 11' 53", carrying 13 stone. She 
was at that time eight years old. Eighteen of the sires 
were bought for the Government studs ; and these 
purchases were made after experience of their value, 
the studs already possessing twenty-two sires of the 
breed, previously purchased through M. De la Yille. 

There is a club at Caen for the encouragement of "^^^^^^^^ 

^ Eaces. 

half-bred horses, under whose auspices trotting races 
are held in Normandy, and through whose example the 
taste for them is spreading over France. In 1874 there 
were 84 trotting-race meetings in various parts, of 
France, against 62 in 1872, and 220 races against 176, 
while the acceptances were 1,537, as against 1,298. Of 
the 220 races, 195 were ridden and 25 ran in harness. 
The usual distance, at the best meetings, is 4,000 
metres, the old league of 2^ miles ; the club weights 
for riders are 9 stone 10 lbs. for three -year -olds, 
11 stone for four -year- olds, and 11 stone 11 lbs. for 
five-year-olds and upwards. In some races the mini- 
mum height is limited to 14 hands 2 inches, and the 



172 NORMANDY. 

Trotting maximum time usually allowed for horses to be placed 
is ten miinutes. The weight of the carriage, when this 
race is run in harness, is generally 220 pounds for three- 
year-olds, 275 pounds for four-year-olds, 330 pounds for 
five -year- olds, and 385 pounds for six-year-olds and 
upwards, including the driver ; but for Percheron horses 
it is 330 pounds for four-year-olds, 385 pounds for 
five-year-olds, and 440 pounds for six-year-olds and 
upwards. 

Out of the 1,537 acceptances in 1874, 656 horses 
were placed, and there were 337 takers of prizes. In 
almost every race more than one prize is given, some- 
times as many as seven. Out of the 220 races, 129 
were for the distance of 2| miles, and they produced 
133 takers of 259 prizes, the most speedy doing the 
2i miles in 6' 58", the slowest in 10' 24"; the average 
of the whole 259 was under 8' 10", only eight being 
above 10'. This makes a pace at the rate of 18 
miles 3 furlongs an hour for 2i miles, a high 
average to be attained by 133 horses winning 
259 times. The averacre of the 82 fastest horses was 
T 45", or 19i miles per hour; of these 82 four of the 
fastest were by the Heir of Linne, the others were 
removed one degree from English blood. These four 
ran in 32 races, one of them, Orphee, winning 12 times, 
making an average of 7' 06", and beating all the others. 
Twice he covered the distance in 6' 58 ", twice in 7', once 
in 7' 4", and three times in 7' 7". He reduced his average 
by the other four races, which he won so easily that 
he was not put to his full speed ; but he was evidently 



NORMANDY, 173 

the best horse of his year. In one race he did 31 miles Trottmg 
in 10' 17'. 

The year 1876 shows a considerable increase in these 
races ; the number of meetings has risen to 106, and the 
races to 373, 55 being in harness and 318 in the saddle. 
The entries were 2,226 ; of these 830 horses were placed, 
and there were 485 takers of prizes. A hundred and four 
races were for 2J miles, and they produced 129 winners of 
212 prizes; the average time of these 212 w^as 8'lOr, 
but the 129 horses did their best races in an average 
time of 8' 3^"; only four were over 10'. The best pace 
was by a Russian horse, Galka, in 6' 24" ; the next 
best was by Triton, by Flying Cloud, in 6' 45". The 
average of 35 horses for the 2^ miles was 7' 24", and for 
50, 7'4l''. Triton ran 18 times, was 10 times first and 
8 times second. Of the 485 winners, 58 were by 
English sires, 15 by Arab, 3 by Russian, and 409 by 
French; these latter, however, being mainly of direct 
English strain. 

In 1873, Niger, by the Norfolk Phenomenon, trotted 
the 2i miles, once in 6' 57" and once in 6' 55" ; and Pro- 
tecteur, by Bayard, did them in 6' 53" ; but the fastest 
record of a French horse is that of M. Bevel's 
Pactole, who trotted 2 J miles in 6' 38". 

On December 28th, 1875, Zethus, a white horse, 
was matched at Toulouse to do 12J miles in 40', 
trotting under saddle ; he did them in 37' 21". The same 
horse was backed for £200 to do the same distance at 
Caen in 38'; he did it in 37' 19", to the surprise of the 
Norman breeders. Zethus is by an Arab sire out of a 



174 NORMANDY. 

Eaces^° mare of Englisli descent, a daughter or grand- daughter 

of Fitz-G^ladiator, but not thoroughbred. This horse 

was twelve years old at the time, a big horse, and he 

showed no signs of distress at the end of the race. In 

the spring of 1877, Zethus was beaten in a trotting 

match at Toulouse by Baron Finot's thoroughbred mare 

Zacinthe, by Fortunio out of Siren ; the distance was 

18f miles, on the ordinary road ; the mare won easily 

in 59'. Zethus was much distressed, but no doubt the 

fourteen years told against him. 

At the trotting races held at Vienna during the 
exhibition of 1873, a Eussian mare, seven years old, 
covered 2| miles in 6' 56" against eighteen competitors, 
of which six were placed, two Russian, tw^o Italian, and 
two French, the longest time being 1' 17". At the same 
place there was a trotting race for pairs, the carriages 
w to have four wheels and seats for four people, but with 
no stipulation as to weight ; the distance was 5 J miles. 
Twelve pairs of horses competed, of which four were 
placed. The winners were Italians, and did the distance 
in 17' 18"; Eussians of the Orloff breed were second, at 
17' 34"; Italians third, at 17' 53"; and Russians fourth, 
at 18' 16". 

During the last wmter's races (1875-76) in Russia, 
Young Bedouin did 2 miles in 4' 59" in a four-wheeled 
droshky, which it is calculated makes the horse lose 10" 
as compared with a two -wheeled sulky ; the mile in the 
droshky would be 2' 2 9 J", and deducting the 10" it is 
reduced to 2' 19J", or 2 miles in 4' 39". America does 
not show much better work than this ; Goldsmith Maid 



NORMANDY. 175 

lias done a mile in 2' 14", tkree others in 2' 16 1''; tlie J^^^*^^^° 
fastest record for 2 miles is 4' 50i", and for 3 miles 7' 21." 

The longest trotting races in France are those held 
at Neubourg, in IN'ormandy. They are run in harness 
and upon the ordinary high road ; the distance is 8 
miles 1 furlong. Eight horses ran in two races in 
1874 ; the fastest time was 24' 52", won by Bon Espoir, 
and the slowest of the six placed was 30' 25". 

In 1872, a trotting Derby was established at Rouen, 
the first race to come off in 1874 for horses born in 
1871 ; the entries for the first year were thirty-four, of 
which eighteen declared forfeit, one seems to have died, 
four did not come to the post, and eleven started. The 
race was, as usual, 2 J miles, and was done in 7' 42" by 
the winner, which is a good pace for a three -year-old, 
as trotting depends so much on training ; by six years 
of age a horse ought to gain a minute in time. There 
were thirty-five entries for 1875, forty-eight for 1876, 
and seventy -four for 1877 — a very notable increase. 
The winner in 1876 was M. Lebas's Eebus, by 
Pretty Boy out of Miss Airel, time 7' 35". The names 
of sires or grandsires of the horses entered show 
their English origin : Heir of Linne, Phenomenon, 
Matchless, Pledge, Young Quicksilver, Eclipse, Morning 
Star, Pretty Boy, Plying Dutchman, Sincerity, Sultan, 
Norfolk Phenomenon, Pireaway, Affidavit, • Catspaw, 
Performer, Chief Baron, Fling, Sting, Stag, Young 
Shales, and Flying Cloud. 

The ordinary height of these Anglo -JN^orman horses 
is about 15*3, the demand nowbei^g more for this sized 



176 NORMANDY. 

Horses. ]^()j,gg than for those over 16 hands; besides, these 
smaller horses are more perfect, the larger ones being 
apt to have rather a heavy fore hand, and to run too 
light in the leg. The best specimens are bred in the 
district called Le Merlerault, in the department of the 
Orne ; their heads are fine, with straight noses, good 
eyes, bold eyebrows, necks light and bloody, and shoul- 
ders long and sloping ; they are well-ribbed up ; there is a 
tendency to too much lightness ; and they are sometimes 
leggy, but very supple and elegant. It is to be noted 
that these Anglo-Norman horses are perfectly free from 
any cross with the Percherons. Out of the 190 entered 
for the trotting Derby in the four years, there are only 
three set down as grey, the colour by far the most 
general of the Percherons, and of these one was from an 
Arab mare ; there are two iron-greys, one black flecked 
with white, one grey roan, several dark roans, and two 
called ''peach-blossom" — none of these colours being 
characteristic of the Percherons. 

The number of horses returned by the census of 
1872 as existing in ISTormandy, 272,500, gives a very 
imperfect idea of the importance of horse-rearing in 
the province ; it is only two-thirds of the number in 
Brittany, but most of the young stock of Brittany 
passes through Normandy ; indeed, the Norman dealers 
scour the country from the frontiers of Belgium to the 
extremity of Brittany, and also southwards through the 
marshes of Poitou, attending every market and fair, 
picking up every likely animal, and converting him 
into a Norman horse. The department of La Manche 




m 
P5 
O 
W 

O 

M 

P3 

< 

o 

6 
h; 



hORMANDY, Yll 

supplies more horses born in tliat department than does Horses. 
any other in France. 

The number of mares in Calvados and Orne is only 
,67,000, and of young stock under three years of age only 
30,000 ; but more horses go out of these two depart- 
ments annually than probably out of all Brittany. 
Whoever wants a good horse goes to Normandy for it, 
and the dealers are always prepared with the best horses 
in the country. If they don't breed them, they buy 
them, and make them. At the horse show at Paris, in 
1875, which was for saddle and carriage horses only, 
out of 389 horses exhibited, 262 came from Normandy 
and 254 were sent in by dealers, chiefly from Normandy 
— but for the Norman dealers there would be no horse 
show at Paris. The proportion is about the same every 
year. At the same show, in April, 1876, there were 
396 horses entered, 297 of which came from Normandy, 
sixty-three from the west, twenty-three from the south, 
one from the east, and four from the north ; 217 out of 
the 297 Normandy horses belonged to dealers. 

Occupying the southern part of Normandy, extend- Seiche 
ing, indeed, into Maine in one direction, and to the 
borders of the wide plains of La Beauce on the other, 
is the old county of Perche. Among its hills rise the 
numerous streams that feed the basins of the Seine and 
the Loire, and the smaller ones that cross Normandy 
and fall into the English Channel. Its extent is about 
fifty miles by sixty, and it is a country much broken up, 
intersected by numerous valleys full of small streamlets, 

M 



178 NORMANDY, 

Percheron ^]^q g^jj clay upon a chalk subsoil, generally spongy and 
wet. The tops of tlie hills are poor, the land being 
flinty but well wooded. The enclosures are small, sur- 
rounded by thick hedges yielding a regular crop of 
timber. The natural grass of the country is rich and 
good, but limited in area, being confined to the borders 
of the streams. The air is considered sharp and bracing, 
and the waters very tonic. The holdings are small, 
seldom exceeding 100 acres, and are held on leases of 
from eight to twelve years. The produce is very various ; 
the main dependence of the farmer for fodder is on arti- 
ficial grasses. Apple-trees are an important though 
an uncertain source of revenue, yielding, probably, one- 
sixth of the returns. Horse-breeding is the chief business 
of the Perche farmer : as many as half a dozen brood 
mares will be found on many a small farm of sevent}^ to 
one hundred acres ; one small farmer has a mare twenty- 
two years old, which has brought him fifteen foals. The 
mares are put to the horse every year, worked up to 
within a few days of foahng, and again a few days after. 
The foals are kept in the stable from the time they are 
dropped until they are weaned, getting milk from their 
dams only in the morning, and when these come in from 
.work at midday, and at evening. They are weaned at 
the age of five or six months very roughly ; the fillies 
remain with the breeder, or in the same parish, but the 
colts are always sold away, bought by farmers who 
never breed, but only rear young stock ; and the 
division of labour is so precise, that it would be in vain 
to look for a brood mare or a filly in certain localities, 



NORMANDY, 179 

and equally in vain to look for a colt-foal of more than ^'^cheron 

J- '^ Horses. 

six months old in others. The buyers of the young 
stock vary, of course, in their mode of purchase and 
after-treatment ; some take great pains, going to those 
breeders whose stock has the best repute, choosing the 
most likely animals, and taking proper care of them 
afterwards ; others attend fairs, where they meet jobbers 
who have bought a lot of young things, and from this 
stock they select what pleases them, and keep them at 
home, half a dozen together, in a badly- ventilated stable, 
not over well fed, and turned out in summer to pick up 
what can be found about the fields and orchards. The 
jDrices for these young colts seem to run from £12 up to as 
high as £30. This is the hardest time for the Percheron 
horse ; he is unprofitable, and as little money is s|)ent 
upon him as possible : it is reckoned that less than £4 
will cover his keep for this year of his life. At eighteen 
months old he begins to earn something, but is very 
lightly dealt with as regards work : four or {vsfo^ are put to 
do what a couple of horses could easily manage ; or two 
of them are harnessed before a pair of oxen, to do some 
ploughing. He is now better fed, and well treated, and 
remains in this position, doing more work as he grows 
older, until the age of about three years, when a market 
is found for him with the large farmers in La Beauce. 
This education is excellent; broken to work early, 
attended to when in the stable by the women and 
children of the house, and gently handled by the farmer, 
his natural good temper is not spoilt by harsh treat- 
ment. Every Percheron farmer seems a natural-born 
M 2 



180 NORMANDY. 

Percheron ]3reeder of horsGs : playing abont among them from tlie 
time he can carry a whip, there is not a man in the 
country who does not understand them. The country 
is well adapted to bring out their powers of muscle : 
short but steep banks, which teach them to pull well 
against the collar, and to sustain great weights in 
descending, break them in naturally for their after-work. 
At three years of age they make from £35 to £40, and 
sometimes more ; and now comes a time of real hard 
work, accompanied, however, by very high feeding. 
The Beauce farms are all large, often much divided ; all 
the country is under plough ; sowing and harvesting 
must be done, and done quickly ; oxen would be use- 
less in such a country. Here the Percheron horse is 
driven at his utmost powers of speed, and has to draw 
the utmost weights of which he is capable. He not 
unfrequently breaks down under the trial, but those 
which do not succumb, after doing the farm-work for 
about a year or so, are sold at the great fairs, chiefly 
those of Chartres, to buyers who require them for 
omnibus or heavy team work at Paris or elsewhere. 
The price now will have reached from £40 to £60, not 
a great advance upon the cost to the Beauce farmer ; but 
he has done the work that was indispensable, and he 
has passed through, three or four hands, each one 
getting some profit or benefit from his use. 

The Prench are very proud of the Percheron breed 
of horses, and consider the true race as very ancient, 
and as pure as the best breeds of England or Arabia. 
The characteristics of the best horses are, that tliev run 



NORMANDY, 181 

from fifteen to sixteen hands in heisflit ; the head is Percheron 

^ Horses. 

handsome, thongh perhaps sometimes heavy, but more 
frequently as fine as an Arab's ; the nostrils wide ; the 
eye large and expressive ; the forehead broad ; ears 
silky ; neck rather short, but with a good crest ; withers 
high ; shoulders long and sloping ; chest rather fiat, but 
broad and deep ; body well ribbed ; loins rather long ; 
crupper level and muscular; the buttocks often high, 
leaving a depression above the junction of the tail, 
which is set on high; joints short and strong; the 
tendon often weak ; legs clean and free from coarse 
hair ; feet always good, though rather flat when reared 
upon moist pastures ; the skin fine ; and mane silky and 
abundant ; the colour is generally grey, but there are 
some grand black Percherons. At the fair at Chartres, 
February, 1877, one dealer had eighteen blacks, for 
which he asked £2,000, and they were well worth that 
money. Docile, patient, honest workers, very hardy, 
the Percherons are unexcitable, but active and cheerful, 
rarely showing bad temper, and very free from natural 
blemish, trotting away cheerfully with heavy loads. The 
Prench call them the best draught-horses in the world. 

All these fine qualities are now rarely found combined 
in any of the Percheron horses : the race has deteriorated, 
in a great measure owing to its high qualities. Pur- 
chasers have for so many years been so numerous, that 
to meet the demand horses are brought from Brittany, 
from La Yendee, and from the Boulonnais, and sold as 
Percherons. Sires of the best form have been taken out 
of the country at high figures to other parts of Prance 



182 NORMANDY. 

Percheron ^nd to forei2:n countries. Prussia has been a lars^e 

Horses. ^ ^ 

buyer, her purchases of mares in 1872 being 934; in 
1873, 1,256 ; and in 1874, 1,950, and these were selected 
mareSj for breeding purposes. Distant America sends 
its buyers, who, disdaining to chaffer about price when 
a first-class animal is offered, ship some of the finest 
Percherons to New York. The premiums offered to 
encourage care in breeding have had an effect directly 
the contrary to that hoped for, as purchasers have, by 
means of these premiums, had a sure guide to the 
best stock, and money has not stood in the way of sales 
being made. As the high quality of the original stock 
has suffered from the abstraction of choice sires and 
mares, so it has also suffered by the introduction for 
breeding purposes of horses of a similar type, but of 
inferior stamp. Many mares have been introduced 
from Brittany, with perhaps less injury than that caused 
by those introduced from other parts, as there has been 
for generations a frequent interchange of stock between 
Brittany and Perche, but many have also come from 
the Boulonnais and from the Pays de Caux, heavy 
lymphatic animals, " scrofulous breeds," as the Perche- 
rons call them, useful in their place, but not possessing 
the active cheerfulness of the Percheron, and incapable 
of the speed under heavy weights which is thejboast of 
the Percheron. Pashion has also assisted in the change 
for the worse. About 100 years ago, Madame Dubarr}'^ 
was presented with a pair of Danish horses, which 
became the rage in Paris, and several Danish staUions 
were imported into Normandy ; the fashion did not last 



NORMANDY, 183 

lonsr, but it left its trace, and is visible now in the Perciieron 

^ ^ ^ Horses. 

remains of the Eoman nose. A fancy for English blood 
stock had a run, which did no good to the Percheron, 
and now opinions differ much as to the best methods of 
restoring the race to its original value. Two breeds 
seem to divide the judgments of those interested, viz., 
the Arabian and the half-bred Norfolk trotter. Arabia 
is supposed to be the original source whence the 
Percheron was derived, and though it is difficult to see 
in the heavy Percheron horse any resemblance to the 
light, sinewy Arab, yet the difference is accounted for 
by many generations of strong food, heavy work, and a 
different climate, and the Percheron certainly retains the 
colour, the docility, the good temper, the soundness of 
constitution, and the freedom from blemish, of the 
supposed original, and the change is hardly greater than 
is observable in our thoroughbreds, all mainly of 
Arab origin. Plenipotentiary and Griadiateur, and still . 
more that cart-horse, the Sailor, who won the Derby 
when he sank over his fetlocks in mud, are as far 
removed in appearance from the Darley Arabian , as 
are the Percherons. 

In the various attempts made to restore the race 
Arab blood seems to have been successful. In 1760 
the stud at Le Pin was chiefly composed of Arabs and 
Barbs. The fancy for the Danish and English blood 
stopped this tendency ; but in tracing back the pedigree 
of the Percheron sires crossed with English blood that 
were the most successful, it has been found that the 
English horses were only very little removed from the 



184 NORMANDY, 

Hort^r'' -^i^a^ia^- I^ 1S20, two Arabs, Grodolpliin and Gallipoly, 
brought back the Arab strain, and restored permanently 
the grey colour, which had become less fixed. It is a 
tradition in the country that the distribution of the 
horses through France on the defeat of the 300,000 
Arab horsemen by Charles Martel in 732 furnished the 
source of most of the breeds of France. In many places 
they died out from unsuitability of climate, or bad 
management ; but they were preserved in Perche very 
much by the care of succeeding nobles, and mainly 
by those Counts of Perche who went to the Crusades, 
and brought Arab horses back with them. A lord of 
Montdoubleau is especially credited with taking extra 
pains in this respect ; and at this moment the breed at 
Montdoubleau is esteemed the best in the country, and 
its horse fairs are the most important. 

The returns collected by the Government of the 
number of horses in each department of France show 
clearly enough what a drain there is upon the Percheron 
country for its horses; for, whereas in 1866 the total 
number of horses of all kinds in Orne was close upon 
70,000, it had sunk to 67,400 in 1872; in the former 
year there were nearly 23,000 under three years old, in 
1872 only 16,700. That this demand is causing an 
increased supply is also shown by the number of mares 
in the country, which have increased from 30,826 in 
1866 to 38,020 in 1872. Whatever may be the opinion 
as to the quality of the horses now bred here, it is pretty 
clear that it is more than ever before a profitable stock 
for the small farmer to breed. In 1860 the number of 



NORMANDY. 185 

brood mares sent to the Government studs in Orne was Percheron 

Horses. 

3,213, from that date they gradually declined to 1,486 
in 1871, much of this reduction being owing to the 
German war. They are now increasing again, and in 
1873 they amounted to 2,425. 

The price of meat may be supposed likely to cause the 
rearing of cattle to interfere with horse-breeding, and 
so, no doubt, it does in countries which are adapted to 
it ; but this is not the case in Perche, the climate being 
unsuitable, or the food. Good breeds of cattle from the 
adjoining provinces of Maine and Normandy have been 
introduced, but they have soon degenerated. They 
become more bony, do not put on flesh, and it is only by 
having recourse to the original stock that any good 
horned cattle can be reared in Perche. Those character- 
istics of climate, water, and food, which are so valuable 
in giving to the Percheron horse his force and energy, 
are just what are unsuitable for the breeding of animals 
whose value depends on their power of rapidly making 
flesh. Lands with lime in the soil and the plants are 
considered in Prance to be eminently favourable to the 
growth of bone in animals, and it is thus that the 
change from the original Arab horse to the Percheron 
is accounted for. The bone increased greatly by a large 
supply of lime to the system, and muscle followed 
naturally the formation of bone. The very poultry in 
Perche show the efiect of the soil and climate. The 
flesh-making Crevecoeur would not be recognised in the 
skinny, bony, excitable ofispring of the second generation. 
This theory is not absolutely accepted, as M. Moll 



186 NORMANDY, 

Percheron q^^otes the Opinion of M. Devaux-Loresier, who 
declares he could breed Perch eron horses just as well 
anywhere else as he does at home, and that the dis- 
tinctive name [is quite recent, not dating beyond the 
beginning of the present century. As a matter of fact, 
however, these horses have been bred in Perche for ages, 
and are not bred anywhere else. 

A large number of useful but ordinary Percheron 
horses are to be seen in the streets of London, many 
showing the delicate and fine head and silky ears of the 
Arab; but by far the best specimens are in the service of 
the Paris Omnibus Company. Their average weight is 
13 cwt. 3 qrs. They work four hours a day, at the 
rate of five miles an hour ; but as that calculation in- 
cludes stoppages, the pace is much quicker, and the 
distance covered much less than twenty miles. The 
weight drawn by a pair is two and a half tons. 

The Percheron horses are not trotting-horses purely 
as trotters, like the Anglo-lSTormans, but they are un- 
equalled for getting away well with heavy loads ; their 
trotting powers, however, are not to be despised, as 
some of their performances will show ; and it should be 
remembered that these examples were performed upon 
unprepared courses, heavy if the weather be wet, hard 
and rough if dry, and in almost every case upon unlevel 
ground, the course at Mortagne having three drojDS, and 
three ascents, " as steep as the roof of a house," in the 
distance of a thousand yards. Mounted they are ridden 
by inexperienced country lads, who have not the slightest 
judgment, and in harness they draw common farmers' gigs 



NORMANDY. 187 

with heavy trappings. Horses that can do such work ^^J^fg^^^^^ 
under such conditions must be plucky and good. 

The examples of horses ridden give the following 
results : — 



Distance. 


Entries. 


Fastest. 


Slowest. 


Average, 


\\ miles 


... 29 ... 


3' 50" . 


.. 7^48" ., 


.. 4' 121" 


IJ » 


... 31 ... 


4' 38'' . 


.. 9' 18" ., 


,. 6' 40" 


2 „ 


... 40 ... 


6' 2" . 


.. 10' 30" ., 


.. 7 20" 



2^ „ ... 65 ... 7' 35" ... 13'26" ... 9' 15" 

In harness the examples are : — 7i furlongs in 4' 2"; 
\\ miles in 5' 4" ; 2 miles in 7' 17". For a 2i-mile race 
there were 14 entries, the fastest horse did the distance 
in 8' 30", the slowest in 11' 55". The minimum weights 
in harness are 330 lbs. for four-year-olds, 385 lbs. for 
five-year-olds, and 440 lbs. for six-year-olds, and upwards, 
including driver. 

In the trotting-races for 1874, 19 Percheron horses 
were entered, the distances varying from 1 J to 3 miles ; 
the greatest speed attained was at the rate of 16 miles 
per hour ; 9 horses reached this over courses of 21- and 3 
miles; the slowest was at the rate of 12 miles, the 
average being close upon 15. Three and a half miles have 
been done in 12 minutes, equal to 171 miles per hour. 

At the trotting-race meeting at Illiers, in Beauce, 
in the centre of the country that uses Percheron 
horses, in 1876, the 3-mile race was won in 9' 43", the 
second horse taking 9' 55" ; the 2|-mile races were won in 
8'27", 8'44", 8'50", and 9' 04"; all these were under saddle. 
The race in harness for 2i miles was won in 8' 10", the 
second horse taking 8' 30"; all these horses stood 15*2 



188 NORMANDY. 

Harser^^ and 15*3 hands ; it must be remembered that these are 
cart-horses. 

A grey mare, six years old, took a heavy gig 56 
miles over a hilly road in 4 hours and 24 minutes, and 
another, 7 years old, drew an ordinary country gig 55 
miles in 4 hours 1 minute 35 seconds, returning the 
next day over the same ground in 4 hours 1 minute 
30 seconds, the last 14 miles being covered in one hour, 
and neither in going or returning was she touched with 
the whip. 

The pace in the old diligences was 8 miles an hour ; 
posters would do 10 miles on pressure, but it was ex- 
treme, and only occasionally. 

The character of the Percheron horse has made the 
country one as much for horse dealing as for breeding ; 
fifty-seven fairs are held in the Perche district in the 
course of a year — more than one a week — and some of 
them last ten days or a fortnight. Horses come from 
all sides to these gatherings — from Brittany, from the 
marshes of Poitou and La Yendee, from Artois, and the 
Pays de Caux, but more particularly from Brittany. 



B E I T T A N y. 



" The country has a savage aspect ; husbandry not much further 
advanced than among the Hurons ; the people almost as wild as 
their country. One-third of what I have seen of this province seems 
uncultivated, and nearly all of it in misery. Wastes, wastes, 
wastes; no exertion, nor any marks of intelligence." — Young, 1788. 

"Since 1845, when an association of landowners was formed, 
agricultural progress can be clearly traced ; animals, implements, 
products, are multiplied and improved. A third of the waste land has 
been brought into cultivation since 1840." — Leonce de Lavergne. 



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BRITTANY. 191 

In marked contrast to prudent, matter-of-fact, busi- 
ness-like Normandy is the neighbouring province of 
Brittany — that is, real Brittany, the three departments 
of Cotes du Nord, Finisterre, and Morbihan. Ille et 
Yilaine, co-terminous with Maine and Normandy, par- 
takes somewhat of the character of these two provinces, 
and Loire Inferieure is influenced by the traffic of the 
great river. 

Throughout France the various races that people 
the country have kept remarkably distinct; but none 
have preserved their individuality so unimpaired as the 
Bretons. Customs which certainly existed before the 
Eoman conquest of Gaul still ' prevail in some parts, 
interwoven with the practices of the Christian worship ; 
and in no part of Europe are there to be found evi- 
dences so imposing, so numerous, or so perfect, of that 
ancient faith of whose principles so little knowledge 
exists. 

In the north, in the Leonnais, there is that strange 
familiarity with the dead which keeps their bones piled 
up in the sight of the living. There death is accepted 
as a direct act of the Almighty ; the doctor's assistance 
in illness is barely allowed, but all faith is placed in 
prayers : " God is touching us with His finger," they 
say. During the visitation of the cholera in 1853, 
when there was no house but had a corpse, the only 
preparation made was the opening of graves to be ready 
for those who were yet in good health; and it always 
was so ; a ballad of the sixth century, commemorating 
the Plague of EUiant, recites — 



192 BRITTANY, 

" The plague, she says, is on our door sill ; 
'Twill enter if it be God's will ; 
But 'till it enter, bide we still." 

Taylor's '■^Ballads of Brittany'' 

Here, on the festival of St. Jolin, when the country 
is ablaze with bonfires, chairs are set ready for the nse 
of the dead, who are supposed to take part in the 
ceremonies to which they had been accustomed in their 
lifetime ; and so at the festival of the dead, on the day 
following that of All Saints, the family supper is not 
removed, but left for the spirits who may visit their 
friends on earth; and on that same night the souls of 
those lost in Deadman's Bay are allowed to return in 
the flesh — they ride on the crest of the roaring breakers, 
their moans rising above the howling tempest. 

There Arthur's host is seen on the mountains, por- 
tending war : — 

"Lo ! warriors armed, their course that hold. 
On grey war-horses riding bold. 
With nostrils snorting wide for cold. 

Rank closing up on rank I see, 
Six by six, and three by three. 
Spear-points by thousands glinting free. 

Nine sling-casts' length from rear to rear — 

I know 'tis Arthur's hosts appear ; 

There Arthur strides — that foremost peer." 

Taylor's " Ballads of Brittany.'' 

Superstitions so adopted from the ancient religion 
are tenaciously held, and even some traces remain of the 
worship of a malignant deity. Chapels were dedicated 
to "Our Lady of Hatred," one of which still exietsnear 



BRITTANY. 193 

Treguier — or did in 1854, according to Souvestre ; but 
the general feeling of the people is one of deep rehgious 
fervour, and so numerous were the roadside crosses 
destroyed in Finisterre alone by the Eepublicans in 
1793, that when their restoration was contemplated the 
idea had to be abandoned on account of the expense, 
which was estimated at £60,000. 

In contrast also to Normandy is the amount of the Popula- 
tion. 
population — nearly 220 to the square mile, which is 

large considering that a fourth of the country is barren 

and sparsely inhabited. Marriages are early and families 

large, and whereas in Normandy the decrease of the 

population between 1866 and 1872 was 4 '48 per cent. 

— about the largest in France — that of Brittany was 

only 1*44 — about the smallest. This population is 

classed as urban and rural in much the same proportion 

as in Normandy — viz., 19 40 urban and 80' 60 rural; 

but in Brittany there are no manufactures carried on in 

the homesteads ; the rural population is really rural, is 

occupied solely on the land, and lives scattered in small 

farmsteads, two-thirds being returned as so living, and 

only one-third as collected in towns or villages. 

But if the people live isolated, they take frequent Fairs. 
opportunities of meeting. The number of markets and 
fairs is out of all proportion to the wants of trade ; the 
poor department of Morbihan, with only 248 communes 
and 500,000 inhabitants, has 750 fairs yearly — more 
than two each day ; and it is by no means rare to find 

N 



Fairs. 



1 94 BRITTANY. 

100 fairs in a year in a radius of seven or eiglit miles. 
In some parts of the country, what with fairs, markets, 
Sundays, saints' days, national holidays, and '* pardons," 
not 200 days are left for doing work. The rulers of the 
small towns take advantage of this, and estabhsh duties 
— the octroi — upon everything that comes within their 
walls that can he eaten or drunk. There are more than 
eighty little places in Finisterre alone which have the 
power of charging this duty, the expense of collecting 
which amounts to 50, 60, and even 83 per cent, 
upon the value. It is chiefly from drink that the 
largest amounts are collected, and in some parts of 
Brittany the houses for the sale of intoxicating liquors 
amount to one for every eighty or 100 of the permanent 
inhabitants. 

Brittany comes out very badly as regards instruc- 
tion, 44 jDcr cent, of the population above the age 
of six years being unable to read or write, the 
average of France being 30' S ; Finisterre is espe- 
cially low, more "that 56 per cent, being in a state 
of ignorance. 



Earms. The farms are small, from 25 up to 100 acres ; 
75 acres is called a big farm ; the land in general is 
not worked by the owners, who, however, usually reside 
on their estates, but it is rented, or managed on the 
metayer system, but in the latter case the payment of 
the share of profit is made in money, except in Mor- 
bihan. In Brittany there are 176,282 farmers, wliicli 



Educa- 
tion. 



BRITTANY. 195 

gives an average of 35,256 for each of tlie five depart- ^arms. 
ments, that of all France being only 8,174 per depart- 
ment. This system of renting the land seems to have 
this advantage, that the mortgage debt of Brittany is 
the smallest in France, being only 8 per cent, of the 
total value of the freehold, the average of France being 
16, and in some places it rises as high as 80 per cent. 

The whole of the centre of the country, nearly two ^^i^- 
millions of acres, consists of vast dreary plains covered 
with ling and heather, intolerably melancholy, soaked 
with water during winter, burnt up in summer, upon 
which a few miserable cottagers rear a few miserable 
cows and sheep, and on which is heard no sound but the 
strident voice of the cricket, nor anything seen but a 
few clumps of stunted pines, and those wondrous stones 
which we call Druidical. These plains are only a few 
hundred feet above the level of the sea, and they feed 
innumerable streams, which, as they approach the coast, 
flow through rich and highly-cultivated valleys. The 
land is indented with arms of the sea, in some plaises 
forming enormous salt-water lakes, on the banks of 
which are many towns and villages flourishing from 
wealth produced by fisheries and by the export of 
produce, and where are moored ships, whose pennons 
flutter above the rich foliage of the chestnut, the ever- 
green oak, the laurel, and the pomegranate, which 
testify to the mildness of a climate where frosts are 
unknown. 



N 2 



196 BRITTANY. 

J^^ Between the wild heaths of the centre and the coast 

Grolden 

Seit. is a belt of most fertile land, stretching on the north 
from Dinan to Brest, and on the south from Quimper 
to St. Nazaire. This belt extends inland from ten 
to twenty miles, as far, indeed, as the fertilisers 
supplied by the sea-coast have been used, and their 
use has greatly extended in recent years, owing to 
the opening of railways. 

Galea- These fertilisers consist of seaweed, fossils drede^ed 



reous 



Sand, from a considerable depth, and calcareous sand dug from 
pits in shore, but chiefly collected at the mouths of the 
streams and from the wide bays at low water ; this latter 
is mainly composed of broken shells and small fossils. 
It varies considerably in richness ; of 150 samples tested 
at the laboratory of the institution at Lezardeau, M. 
Philippar, the director, states that they contained from 
10 to 95 per cent, of carbonate of lime. They seem to 
run very generally at from 50 to SO per cent. ; of 
samples taken from the bays at the mouths of the rivers 
Quimperle and Avon, the smallest amount of carbonate 
of lime was 56 J per cent., the largest 8.2, and the 
average was 71J. Sand taken close to the sea gave 
70 per cent., and further inland, but on the same spot, 
only 56 ; the extra cost of cartage might make the sand 
yielding the lesser quantity' as profitable to the farmer 
as that yielding more. 

Dredging produces similar sand, and also fossils ; 
the liberty to dredge is permitted only to the sailors 
and fishermen who are enrolled for service. 



BRITTANY. 197 

DififsrinPT and coUectins: this calcareous sand has ^^^^^" 

oo o o reous 

been free to any occupier of land, to any one, indeed, on s^^^^- 
the spot, from time immemorial, and roads to the most 
suitable places have been made at the cost of the com- 
munes. The French Grovernment has recently (10th 
May, 1870), resolved that no more shall be dug without 
payment and without sanction from the authorities. 
The motive of this is partly fiscal, and partly to protect 
the coast from damage by too much being removed. 
The price suggested is only Id. per cubic yard, but the 
formalities to be gone through to obtain permission to 
dig, and the restriction as to the spots where the 
diggings are to be allowed would be very vexatious, 
and a check would be put upon the improvement of the 
land in the interior, which, by the free use of this sand, 
is becoming transformed. 

The resolution has not been acted upon yet (1877), 
and probably may not be persisted in. 

It is to the use of these fertilisers and to that of 
seavfeed that the " Grolden Zone " round Brittany owes 
its fertility. Within half a mile of the coast the land 
lets for £5 and £6 per acre ; at a distance of a mile 
and a half the rent is £3 ; and at four and five miles 
only 24s. to 32s. per acre. 

The most interesting of the fertilisers given up by Seaweed. 
the sea, which is so good a neighbour to Brittany, is 
the seaweed, which is collected in immense masses. On 
an appointed day the harvest begins \ the whole popu- 
lation for miles round assembles at the points where 



198 BRITTANY. 

Seaweed. -[-(^ ^^ most abundant, witli every conceivable means of 
transport — from the powerful teams of tbe large farmers, 
to the donkey and panniers of the cotter. The poorest 
have the first day to themselves ; the rich do not 
interfere, except to assist their more needy neighbours 
with their carts and wagons. There is no law that 
rules this, but as a work of charity and in obedience 
to the desires of the priests, the poor are able to secure 
that upon which the produce of their plots of garden- 
ground depends. 

In some spots as many as 10,000 people swarm to 
the coast, hauling in the seaweed and loading the carts. 
Much of it grows on rocks some distance out to sea. 
This is cut and piled on boats, or upon rafts made from 
boughs of trees ; an empty cask is attached to the end 
of each load, and assists to support the mass, which 
floats in shore with the rising tide. The women and 
children lie half buried in the seaweed, making the 
air ring with laughter and songs, sometimes painfully 
checked by disaster, as the weight of the load is not 
unfrequently too great for the floating power, and the 
whole sinks beloAv the water, drowning and smothering 
its living freight. The danger is very great should a 
sudden storm arise, and the population on shore then 
hurries to the churches to ]3ray for the safe arrival of 
the cargoes with their precious freight. 

The seaweed, particularly on the south coast, has 
been largely burnt for potash, but this article has so 
fallen in value that the manufacture in the old rude 
way must be given up, and the seaweed will be chiefly 



BRITTANY, 199 

utilised on the land, and many thousands of acres, now Seaweed. 
open common and heath, will be inclosed. One of the 
most important parishes — that of Plouhinec — has al- 
ready partitioned among the 4,000 inhabitants nearly 
7,000 acres, which will be gradually brought into 
cultivation. The 7,000 acres are divided into 17,397 
different allotments ; tbe inland lots reach to over half 
an acre ; those nearer the sea are only about the sixth, 
part of an acre, or even as low as less than the tenth. 
The land at a distance of four or ^nq^ miles from the 
coast is worth, at the outside £30 per acre ; on the coast 
it makes three times as much. — £80 or £90 per acre. 
An owner of ten acres near the coast, with the 
corresponding right of pasture over the common 
land, is a rich. man. Some own double that quantity 
scattered about, which they let at from 30s. to £3 per 
acre. 

The coast for about a mile inland is inhabited by 
people who draw their chief maintenance from the sea. 
Seaweed, fishing, a stray wreck, and tlie land keep 
them, but hitherto seaweed has been, particularly on 
the soutli coast from L'Orient to Douarnenez, the most 
certain source of income. Those who had land used 
what was requsite as a fertiliser, and burnt the rest ; 
those who had none burnt all they could collect, and 
an industrious and numerous family could make from 
£16 to £20 yearly from the potasb. 

Though the burning of seaweed in the old way must 
be discontinued, a kiln on an improved system keeps 
at work, and those who have any seaweed to spare 



200 BRITTANY. 

Seaweed, within a reasonable distance of it will always find a 
market with. Messrs. de Lecluse ; but the chief use 
in future will be upon the land newly brought into 
cultivation, and the few miserable sheep now reared 
there will disappear, and their place be taken by 
cows. 

Each family owns the soil. The labour is in the 
house in the family of the owner, the manure at their 
doors in the seaweed ; the produce is wheat, oats, barley, 
and potatoes, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, clover, and 
lucerne. Each plot should produce enough, for the 
support of the family, and also enough to keep the 
cows and sheep. One-fourth should be in wheat, one- 
eighth barley, one-eighth oats, one-eighth cabbage, 
carrots, and parsnips, one-eighth potatoes, two-eighths 
lucerne and clover, and any extra sandy land in sainfoin 
— this for a farm of ten acres at least, and one head 
of large cattle should be kept for every two and a half 
acres. Thus this farm of ten acres should keep the 
family and have something to sell. The smaller hold- 
ings should grow corn enough for the famil}^, and have 
the rest in parsnips and carrots. 

Sardines. Another manure which the sea contributes to the 
land is derived from the sardine fishery. The heads 
of the sardines are bought at 3s. Gd. per cubic yard, 
and are placed in layers with earth, and then spread 
over the land. The importance of this fishery may 
be judged from the work done at one port alone — 
that of Douarnenez — where, from the 20tli June to 



BRITTANY. 201 

December, 600 to 800 boats are daily employed, each. Sardines. 
day's catch being estimated at 5,000,000 fish. Almost 
every port in Brittany sends out some boats, the fleet 
of Concarneau being 400 ; that of Camaret, 800. 

Aided by the soft and moist climate, the produce ^ege- 

-^ . . tables 

of parts of the coast of Brittany rivals that of Italy and 
the south of France. Frosts are hardly known. The 
pomegranate and the fig ripen their fruit out-of-doors ; 
camellias are in full bloom in February. The land 
extending about fifteen miles along the north coast near 
Roscoff is especially celebrated for the growth of early 
vegetables — for its artichokes, broccoli, onions, asparagus, 
and potatoes. The export in 1875 was 7,800 tons of 
potatoes, fresh vegetables and onions 3,000 tons, arti- 
chokes 2,000 tons, representing a total value of £60,000. 
There is also a large produce of young cabbage-plants. 
Since the establishment of steam communication between 
Morlaix and Havre, large quantities are sent to England, 
the early vegetables amounting yearly to 500 tons, and 
the onions to 2,000 tons. The land is divided into 
small squares, divided from each other by dry stone walls 
or by mud-banks topped with furze. Four thousand 
inhabitants make a comfortable living and grow rich upon 
2,000 acres of land, aided to some extent by fishing; 
and they send out yearly over fourteen tons of lobsters. 
The land sells at from £200 to £250 per acre, and 
recently a plot of 2i acres was sold at the rate of £280 
per acre, although there was a lease upon it, of which 
fourteen years were unexpired, at a rent of only £6 8s. 



.202 BRITTANY. 

l^^f'^' p^i' acre. The people live very roughly, and though they 
are so well off and almost every household has a horse and 
cart, there are only two carts with springs in the whole 
district. During the height of the vegetable season, 
the seventeen miles between Eoscoif and the port and 
station of Morlaix are so covered with these carts that 
they almost touch each other, and it is a work of no 
small danger to drive in a contrary direction to them, 
especially on their return home, when every driver has 
drunk too much cider. One peculiarity of their culti- 
vation is that they never water their plants, except in 
very exceptionally dry seasons — such as 1876 ; and then 
they only water those plants that are transplanted, and 
those only twice. 

Corn. Qf -^j^e 3,500,000 acres annually sown mtli corn in 
Brittany, a full third is buckwheat and rye, there being 
twice as much buckwheat as rye. These two grains 
form the staple nourishment of the people, who live on 
a soup made of buckwheat- cake and buttermilk, not 
often touching wheat en bread, still more rarely butchers' 
meat. Buckwheat, indeed, is invaluable on the granite 
soil of Brittany ; unsuited to a system of high culti- 
vation, it is an excellent preparative for wheat on land 
fresh broken up, as the thick foliage destroys all 
weeds. The only manure it wants is phosphate, which 
was formerly supplied wholly by the animal black from 
the sugar refineries, and was largely imported from 
Bristol ; this is now almost superseded by the mineral 
phosphates, beds of wliich have been discovered over so 



BRITTANY. 203 

large an area of France. So much is tliis plant de- ^^'^ 
pendent upon pliospliate, that if every other element it 
requires be provided in the manure applied, but 
phosphate omitted, th6 crop will be no larger than if 
no manure at all had been given. 

The necessity for growing clovers and other green 
crops, which require lime, has driven the cultivation of 
buckwheat from the sea-coast where the calcareous sand 
supplies lime, to the poor granite soils of the interior ; 
and as the growth of these increases, the supply of 
buckwheat is obtained from breaking up fresh land, 
which in its turn becomes gradually occupied by wheat. 
Buckwheat is very susceptible to atmospheric changes ; 
a hot south-east wind at a critical moment scorches up 
the flower ; a moist summer produces foliage instead of 
seed; it succeeds better sown broadcast than drilled. 
There is a considerable market for buckwheat in 
Holland ; but the French seed makes a low price, from 
its inferior quality. An improvement in this respect 
has been attempted by the importation of Dutch seed 
— an attempt of the same nature as that for the im- 
provement of French barley from the introduction of 
English seed, but it has not met with much success. 

From what has been said of the Breton character, it Farming. 
will not be expected that improvement in farming should 
progress rapidly. Edmond About says, " The Breton is 
pushed forwards on the road of improvement, but is 
continually looking over his shoulder as though he had 
forgotten something." This statement, if true at the 



204 BRITTANY. 

Farming, time it was Written, is so no longer ; a good judge of 
agricultural matters, M. J. Laverriere, editor of tlie 
JEclbO Jgricole, thus states the impression made on his 
mind on visiting the agricultural show at Quimper in 
the spring of 1876: — "This meeting at Quimper has 
been for many persons a mine of unlooked-for revela- 
tions. The general opinion is that Brittany, a country 
of granite hills, monotonous heaths, covered with gorse 
and ling, is one of the poor countries of France. What 
I saw round the coast shows, on the contrary, that 
Brittany is in the way of becoming one of our richest 
provinces.^' Agricultural machines at this show num- 
bered 667, in 1868 they were only 290; machines are 
not shown except where there is a chance of seUing. 

In the ten years from 1862 to 1872 the increase in 
the extent of land under wheat, buckwheat, and rj^e, 
amounted to 252,000 acres, mostly in the two latter 
kinds of corn, which are chiefly cultivated in Brittany, 
half the buckwheat growth of France being in this 
province. Much of the increased land under cereal 
crops is from the rough grass broken up, which can now 
be brought under cultivation in consequence of railways 
bringing lime into the interior of the country ; some by 
the draining of marshes, as at St. Gildas, where 8,000 
acres have been enclosed during the last twenty years ; 
and a good deal by enclosure by sea-walls of part of the 
vast extent of the mud-banks on the coast. Much of 
the Bay of Mont St. Michel has been so enclosed ; 
625 acres, embanked by the Mosselman Company, near 
Pontorson, were taken by one farmer at a rent of forty- 



BRITTANY, 205 

eight shillings per acre, to farm which a very heavy i^'armmg. 
stock of implements was required. The land is very 
stiff after rain, and can only be worked with a heavy 
plough. Water has to be carried for over two miles for 
the use of the oxen and horses ; the land, also, is subject 
to partial overflow from the sea, which destroys its 
farming value for some years, so that exceptionally 
heavy crops are required to stand against such expenses ; 
217 acres of wheat produced more than four quarters to 
the acre. The rotation is wheat, clover, and rape ; the 
second growth of clover being ploughed in. At the 
other end of the bay, near Cancale, the land is better, 
and one enclosure of 175 acres is valued at £5 per acre 
annual rent. A good deal of fine asparagus is grown 
here, almost without care; barley yielded eight quarters 
two bushels to the acre, the straw said to have been as 
thick as a man's little finger ! It is cropped alternately 
with corn and rape; no manure is applied, both the 
straw and the little manure from the stable being sold 
off the farm. There are here two miles of very solid 
embankment, and these embankments are proceeding 
both on the north and the south side of the promontory. 
Steam cultivation would probably pay here. 

With the breaking up of waste land, draining of 
marshes, and enclosing foreshores, 600,000 acres of land 
have been brought into cultivation in Brittany between 
1862 and 1873. 

One-third of the grass-land in Brittany is in the C^^^ss. 
department of the Loire Inferieure, and as it is marsh- 



206 BRITTANY. 

Grass. X'q.tA it will coHie under consideration in treating of La 
Yendee; tlie remainder of the natural grass is not of 
first-rate quality, being very apt in the wet valleys to 
become sour, but in dry seasons it is abundant and 
good, in Finisterre especially. At Quimper in the winter 
of 1875-1876, when hay was very dear, the Paris Cab 
Company set up four presses, and sent off six tons each 
day, from October to March, all collected within a radius 
of ten to fifteen miles. As many as 1,500 tons altogether 
were sent from Finisterre to Paris, without making the 
price higher than £3 to £4 for the best quality. There 
is not much artificial grass grown, but the moisture 
of the climate suits rye-grass ; cabbages, of which there 
are 21,000 acres; and parsnips, of which root there are 
21,000 acres in Finisterre alone, more than any other 
department of France. 

Parsnips. Parsnips rank very high in the estimation of the 
Bretons ; they can be left in the ground without suffering 
from frost, and they yield fourteen tons to the acre ; one 
ton of parsnips is reckoned to be equal in nutritive value 
to three tons of mangold, and they are considered more 
valuable than sugar-beet or carrots. Cows fed on them 
give more and richer milk, and they suit horses well. 
One gentleman, M. le Bian, feeds his horses wholly 
on parsnips ; he gives three feeds a day, each of thirteen 
pounds, that is, about forty pounds a day. As parsnips 
in Brittany are only worth one shilling per hundred- 
weight, the daily ration costs only about fourpence ; 
oats would cost more than three times that sum. 



BRITTANY. ' 207 

Gorse is extensively grown on the granite soils, ^°^^^- 
wliere nothing else would flourish ; a field will yield 
from ten to fourteen tons of green fodder per acre from 
November to May ; some will give more, and will last 
from twenty to thirty years. Cattle do well upon it, 
especially horses ; it loses some of its spines by cultiva- 
tion, and is cut up small, and bruised, before it is given 
to the stock ; it is considered equal to about half or 
two-thirds its weight of good hay from natural grass, 
and it gives a rich colour to the butter. 

No province in France has so large a stock of cattle Cattle, 
as Brittany, and nowhere' do the inhabitants depend so 
much for their daily nourishment, and for their income, 
upon the produce of the cows. On some small farms 
the money taken for butter is almost the only money 
touched during the year. It is certainly the largest 
in amount upon many, and buttermilk all through ' 
Brittany, with rye and buckwheat cake, is the staple 
food of the people. The milk-producing properties of 
the small Breton cows are carefully guarded by the 
majority of farmers from any danger of diminution by 
the rejection of any attempt at a cross with breeds that 
might be supposed likely to change them, and, in 
addition to this, the farmers consider that on much of 
the poor, bleak land a cross of any race would give 
them a stock which would require more food than their 
land will yield, and which would not bear exposure to 
the rough winter weather of Brittany so well as their 
own. No pains are taken in the selection of sires, none 



208 BRITTANY. 

Cattle. -[jQ iraprove the breed by more care in rearing the young. 
Calves are weaned at a fortnight old, or even a week. 
All the milk is wanted for the market and the house- 
hold, and the milk is not replaced by good food ; but 
through all these hardships the little Breton cows live 
and thrive where any other sort would die. The yield 
of milk under the ordinary treatment is not large, never 
exceeding from a newly- calved cow seven quarts per 




BRETON BULL. 



day ; but the milk gives much butter, one pound being 
obtained from ten to twelve quarts. The average yield 
per annum is less than 700 quarts; well-fed cows will give 
close upon 1,000. Statements have appeared in print 
that these little animals will give from twelve to fifteen 
quarts a day of milk ; and from four pounds to seven 
pounds of butter per week. If this quantity of milk is 
obtained, there has probably been some cross with the 
Ayrshire, as almost double the quantity of milk is 
wanted to produce nearly the same amount of butter. 
The colour of the Breton cattle is almost always black 



BRIT'IANY. 209 

and white ; towards the extreme west, in Finisterre, battle. 
tliey are red pied. These are somewhat larger than the 
black. In lUe et Yilaine the breed is more particularly 
that of Maine, not the Breton. In Loire Inferieure 
the Yendeen predominate, and on the north coast there 
is much crossing with the shorthorn. The small black 
and white pied, however, about thirty-six inches high, is 
the true native breed of Brittany. 

There have not been wanting many efforts to improve 
the native breed. In the Loire Inferieure very much of 
the land under cultivation consists of soil freshly broken 
up. To do this work oxen were required, and the race 
that was nearest at hand was the one naturally selected. 
The Vendeen cattle once introduced remained, and now 
there is hardly a farmer in the central districts of this 
department but buys and sells a couple of yoke yearly. 

In Ille et Vilaine there is no distinctive breed, there 
probably never was, and the stock is made up of a lot 
of cross-bred animals, in which the shorthorn blood of 
its neighbour Maine largely exists, and which will soon 
supersede all others. This stock seems to suit the 
country, as Hie et Yilaine is one of the largest butter- 
exporting departments of France. 

When attempts at improvement were first made it 
was the Ayrshire that was introduced. The reputation 
for milk produce was, no doubt, the reason of this 
choice, but it was soon abandoned, as the yield of butter 
was so small. The Jersey followed, but appears not 
to have given satisfaction, and now the shorthorn 
is distinctly asserting itself against prejudice where the 
o 



210 BRITTANY. 

Cattle land is good enough, or farmed sufficiently well to give 
nourisMng food. This is the case along the northern 
coast, and as far into the interior as good manures and 
high farming extend, but not on the southern coast. In 
Finisterre the shorthorn is accepted more cordially, and 
it is not uncommon for a few small farmers to club 
together to buy a shorthorn bull for general use. 

The increased price of meat has, no doubt, decided 
the success of the shorthorn. It seems rather a strong 
experiment to cross the smallest with the heaviest cattle, 
but the result must be called a success, and the Brittany 
cross makes very good meat, which is appreciated in 
England. In the autumn of 1874 a monthly market 
was started at Landerneau, and on the 8th of March, 
1875, at the fifth market that was held, 326 head of fat 
cattle were offered for sale, and every one was purchased 
for England. A shorthorn ox was sold for £34, and a 
pair of small black oxen of the native Cornouaille 
breed made £46, a high price considering their size. 
A great stimulus was given to breeding for the butcher. 
One small farmer fatted and sold twenty-five head of 
cattle between November and March, and the produce 
of the land is all consumed on the farm, besides which, 
other fattening materials are purchased and the soil 
immensely benefited. This is a great change from the 
former state of the country. It is not very many years 
ago that young stock were almost given away at the 
fairs of Landerneau and La Martyre. 

The requirements of the English Cattle Diseases 
Prevention Act stopped this useful traffic ; but this is 



BRITTANY. 211 

owing to tlie negligence of the French authorities, who c^attie. 
have not appointed properly qualified veterinary surgeons, 
whose certificates would permit the free entry into 
England of French cattle from districts proved to be 
free from contagion. This is in process of being reme- 
died, and, whether for England or no, the trade con- 
tinues, the market in 1877 having 700 head, the large 
majority being in excellent condition for the butcher. 
Two-thirds were sold at very satisfactory prices. 

One of the leading promoters of the shorthorn cross 
in Brittany is the Vicomte Paul de Champagny, who 
farms highly a fine estate at Heranroux, near Morlaix ; 
he has an annual sale of stock, and in 1876, out of 
thirty-two animals ofiered twenty were sold ; the male 
calves from two to six weeks old made an average of 
£14, young bulls of fourteen months an average of £28, 
cows and heifers an average of £16. 

The show at Landerneau, in February, 1877, proved 
that early maturity was making progress — in north 
Finisterre, at all events ; among the fat stock twenty- 
six head were under three years of age, nineteen 
between three and four, and only thirteen above that 
age. And as regards breeding animals, the shorthorn 
was predominant ; out of seventy-nine shown, twenty 
were pure shorthorn bulls, thirty-three bulls crossed 
with shorthorn, and sixteen cows shorthorn or its 
crosses, leaving only ten animals for breeding uncrossed. 
This is quite reversing the order of things that existed 
when the show was first established, then it was quite 
exceptional to see any fat stock under four years old. 
o 2 



212 BRITTANY. 

Cattle, 'j'ljg weight of the fat stock was about an average of 
1,874 lbs., nothing very wonderful, but double what 
it was fifteen or twenty years ago. 

That Brittany should possess so large a stock of 
cows, and find them such good milkers, will not appear 
surprising, at least to the Bretons, when it is re- 
membered that she possesses the body of St. Herbot, 
the patron saint of cattle. On the anniversary of this 
saint's day, pilgrims flock from all parts to his shrine, 
or rather on the three days consecrated to him, and 
during these days all the cattle in Cornouailles rest 
from labour; formerly they accompanied their owners, 
and when not taken were said to find their way alone. 
They are now dispensed from coming by the direct 
authority of St Herbot himself, but upon condition 
of having a handful of the hair from the tail of each 
animal placed upon the altar : the hair so deposited 
is estimated to be worth from £60 to £70 yearly. 

Sheep. 'j'j^g sheep in Brittany are few and poor; a large 
proportion are black-Avoolled ; the mutton is reputed 
good; they are hardy, and thrive sufficiently well 
through the sumnaer and autumn upon the unenclosed 
heaths, but are half starved during the winter. They 
drop their lambs in January, when the land is soaked 
with the winter rains, and the lambino- season is a 
time of misery to all concerned. Those fed upon the 
salt-marshes have a wide reputation for fine ilavour. 
Sheep, like other farm produce, are improving as 
cultivation improves, and there is frequent crossing 



BRITTANY. 21 3 

with the Southdown and Leicester ; the latter seem sheep. 
most approved. The Brittany sheep are double the 
size they were fifty years ago, and are worth six times 
as much money. 

lUe et Yilaine is the largest butter-producing de- f^d^Miik 
partment, and the greater portion of it is made in the 
neighbourhood of Rennes. The reputation of Brittany 
butter was first gained at the farm of La Prevalaye, 
about two miles from Rennes, and though the name is 
still used, it is long since this particular farm had any 
superiority over those in the neighbourhood ; the butter 
made there now is insignificant — only about ten or 
twelve cows being kept, whereas the name of La 
Prevalaye is adopted by every dairy within twenty miles 
ofRennes. 

The cows are of all the neighbouring breeds — Nan- 
taise, Brittany, Normandy, Manceaux, variously and 
capriciously crossed ; the result, however, is that cows 
are obtained suitable for the locality, and giving a good 
butter-producing milk. The feeding, though hardly yet 
as abundant as perhaps it should be, has made great 
progress recently, as the introduction of lime has per- 
mitted the more extended cultivation of green crops. 

The manufacture of butter is yet very imperfect. 
The churns are of the upright form, and the churning is 
usually done by the men before going out to work, 
assisted by a flexible beam weighted with a stone. Pew 
farms have any proper dairy attached to them, and the 
milk is kept and the butter made in the kitchen, which 



214 BRITTANY. 

Butter, jg^ ()ygp ^ large portion of Brittany, the sleeping and 
living room of all the inhabitants of the farm ; but 
this is becoming remedied as leases fall in, and new 
tenancies are entered upon. 

In well-managed farms near Rennes the butter is 
made from cream and uncurdled milk, and an average of 
1 lb. of butter is obtained from eleven quarts of milk, 
and not uncommonly that weight is obtained from less 
than nine quarts. When made the butter is kneaded 
to extract the buttermilk, and when eaten immediately 
the flavour is remarkably fine, but the system is bad for 
any butter that has to be kept, as it soon turns rancid, 
and as the large dealers who purchase for export have 
to knead it and wash it over again, it loses in tliis 
process very much of its flavour, and ten per cent, of its 
weight, and although when quite fresh these butters 
of La Prevalaye may compete with those of Isigny, 
they are completely beaten by these latter when both are 
ready for a distant market. 

A large business is done at Rennes and at other 
towns by dealers, who purchase the butter from the 
farmers, cleanse it, and find a sale for it either in Paris 
or in the neighbourhood. This Prevalaye butter sells at 
Pennes at a minimum of Is. per lb. from May to August, 
and at a minimum of Is. 6d. per lb. in mnter. 

Outside the district of La Prevalaye and over the 
largest portion of Brittany, the milk is not churned 
until it has curdled ; a spoonful of curd is put into the 
pots as soon as they arrive in the dairy ; all the cream, 
with all or part, of the curd, is turned into the churn. 



BRITTANY. 215 

This system is pursued more on account of tlie diet of Gutter. 
the people than from any ignorance of the advantage of 
taking more pains with the process ; the curds and 
buttermilk are sold at 2d. per quart. 

Butter so prepared, or, rather, so unprepared, cannot 
be of very choice quality ; if not salted at once it, would 
become rancid, and it is therefore salted either by the 
farmers at home, or by the dealers who purchase it at 
the markets, where it is taken in lumps of about f cwt., 
the salt added amounts to 10 per cent, of its weight; 
and it sells at lOd. per lb. in summer, and Is. in winter. 
Some of the larger dealers have machines for kneading 
and washing the butter worked by steam-power, which 
will turn out from 2 cwt. up to 6 cwt. per hour. 

The estimated value of the butter-production in 
Brittany is : — 



For Ille et Yilaine 


£1,300,000 per annum 


„ Ootes du Nord ... 


... ... 905,000 


„ Finisterre 


... ... 600,000 


„ Morbilian ,., 


435,000 




^'0 ^ 



More pains seem to be taken with butter in Finisterre ; 
the cream only is churned, without adding any curd, it 
is weU. washed and kneaded and salted at once, and as 
a result of this extra care, more of it goes to Paris; 
but the sale of milk is more general than in the other 
departments of Brittany. ISTew milk is delivered at 
the houses in all the towns at about one penny per 
pint, but -skimmed milk is more commonly used. There 
are special milk markets in the towns, and skimmed 
milk is not allowed to be sold in the south of Brittany 



216 BRITTANY. 

Milk, unless it is previously boiled. It is sold in yarioiis 
states of preparation, the thicker the skin npon it the 
more it is liked, and it is called by different names, 
according to the amonnt of boiling. The peasants in 
the south consider nnboiled milk unwholesome ; in the 
north this prejudice does not exist. Very good cheese 
is made in Einisterre, but it finds a sale only in two or 
three large towns ; the country people detest cheese, 
although it is infinitely more nutritive and wholesome 
than the various preparations of milk above noticed. 

Horses. More than one-tenth of all the horses in France 

(840,000 out of 2,800,000), about one-eighth of the 
mares (145,000 out of 1,250,000), nearly one-fourth of 
the young ones under three years (89,000 out of 400,000) 
are to be found in Brittany ; it is the largest horse 
nursery in the country, and two -thirds of this number 
are in the departments of Finisterre and the Cotes du 
Nord. In Finisterre there is a horse upon every eight 
acres of cultivated land, and above one to every acre of 
grass. Brittany always cultivated this production. In 
the seventeenth century there were 20,000 brood mares 
in the country, and 8,000 to 10,000 horses were annually 
exported. We meet here again the old tradition of the 
descent from Oriental blood. The Counts of Eohan 
have the credit of importing it in the twelfth century, 
when the Soldan of Egypt presented the then Count 
with some Barbs ; the family kept up the supply from 
the East, and the small hardy race of the mountain 
district, in which is situated the castle of Corlay, the 



BRITTANY. 217 

seat for 600 years of the Eohan family, retains, in spite Horses. 
of its degeneracy from neglect and bad food, marked 
characteristics of its origin. It must be of this breed 
that Arthur Young speaks so contemptuously when he 
visited Brittany in 1788, and says every stable is in- 
fested with a pack of garron pony stallions, sufficient to 
perpetuate the breed that is everywhere seen. It is 
now improving again very considerably from the intro- 
duction of Arab or Anglo -Arab blood, and though 
undersized, there are some capital horses to be obtained 
here for light saddle- work. Customs die out slowly 
anywhere, and in Brittany do not seem to die out at all, 
so the race-meetings of Corlay maintain still a high 
position for their interest in bringing together the best 
of the local breed. 

Fashion has had its temporary influence here as else- 
where, and the Danish horse of the last century has left 
his mark more in the north of Brittany than it has in 
Normandy. 

It is in the centre and south that the lighter saddle- 
horses are bred ; some of the rough half- wild ones, are 
black, but the best are chiefly greys or bright chestnuts ; 
they are well-shaped, broad-chested, with smart easy 
motion, lively, hardy, and sound ; they bear hard work 
well ; their height is generally about thirteen and a 
half hands, but it is increasing, under the influence of a 
more careful selection of sires and of better food. Their 
hardiness is in some degree attributed to the quantity of 
iron in the water, which is general throughout Brittany. 

A pair of these small Brittany horses, and very poor 



218 BRITTANY, 

Horses, jjpeciniens of the breed (for one was stone blind from 
age and had almost lost the use of his near hind leg), 
took the writer and two friends, with a full quantity of 
luggage, thirty miles, returning with one passenger and 
no luggage over the same ground in the evening of the 
same day, and covered the sixty miles in fourteen hours, 
of which less than ten were on the road ; the last ten 
miles home being done in less time than any other ten 
during the journey, and the pair coming in seemingly 
as fresh as when they started. 

At the show at l^antes in 1874, out of 110 entries of 
horses only twenty-five were Breton, and they came 
almost exclusively from Finisterre, the country of this 
small breed; they all showed their Arab blood, or the 
Anglo- Arab, and they carried off two-thirds of the prizes ; 
the value of the horses in Finisterre can hardly be less 
than one and a quarter million sterling. 

On the northern coast of Brittany the horses are of 
a much larger type, not grand carriage -horses, such as 
are reared in Normandy, at least not generally, though 
there are some fine specimens, as is proved by the second 
prize at the show at Paris in 1872 being taken by a 
pair of Breton horses, which were sold for £328, and by 
the fine apj^earance of twelve young Bretons at the same 
show in 1873, which all made high figures, exceeded, 
however, by the sum paid for a Breton horse at the show 
in 1874, when the Duke de Nemours gave £320 for 
Eaglan 2nd ; at the same show the first prize for a 
pair went to a splendid match of Bretons. In 1875 a 
Breton mare took a first prize, and another a second, 
and a horse a first as a park -horse. 



BRUT ANY. 



219 



It is due, however, to Normandy to state tliat all Horses. 
these horses were descended from Anglo-Norman sires, a 
type which is influencing the breed of carriage-horses 
throughout Europe. E'aglan 2nd is by Enee, Enee 
by the Norfolk Phenomenon, his dam by Wildfire, a roan 




BRETON HORSES. 



Norfolk trotter, bred by M. Gurgonnec, at St. Seve, 
near Morlaix. At the show at Landerneau in 1873 for 
horses bred in Brittany, out of the seventy- two prize - 
takers in the section for harness-horses, sixty were of 
Anglo-Norman blood. The same strain seems also well 
adapted for heavy draught, as at the same show the first 
prize for both horses and mares in that class was taken 
by animals whose sires were Anglo-Norman : at St. Pol, 



220 BRITTANY. 

Horses, q^^, of 103 prize-takers, 89 were of the Anglo-Norman 
race. 

Though larger than the horses of the centre, those 
in the north only rnn from 14 hands to 15'1, having 
improved up to the latter point, which the best horses 
now commonly reach. They are of much the same 
character as the Percheron ; indeed, there has been a 
continual interchange between the two districts, and the 
colour is chiefly the same — grey ; but the Breton horse 
has a heavier head, more hair about the heels, broader 
feet, a heavier frame, he is shorter below the knee, and 
the pasterns are shorter — in fact, he shows less blood. 
When crossed with our Norfolk trotters, a breed is 
established, or likely to be so, which, as an Anglo- 
Breton, would be as good in its way as the Anglo- 
Norman ; and these Breton horses all trot. Our English 
draught-horses are not trotters, but the heaviest Breton 
horses trot well; and this is wanted now, as there are 
no long journeys with heavy weights ; active van-horses 
are most in request. Though Brittany breeds so many 
horses, it rears but few ; the foals are sold as soon as 
they are weaned : long strings of them leave the country 
after the great fairs, and their country knows them no 
more, nor are they known again as Breton horses. The 
greys become Percherons, and the bays Normans. Forty- 
four thousand horses left Landerneau in 1872, and 1 2,000 
are sold at Morlaix October fair. It is well that they 
should go, as they improve greatly under the treatment 
of their new masters. At home they receive nothing but 
parsnips and bruised gorse — it is true they are lightly 



BRITTANY. 221 

worked, the work tliey do being no more than such Horses. 
gymnastic exercise as one would give to children ; but 
though oats do not exactly make horses, good condition 
and growth cannot be got without them, and the im- 
provement obtained by this better food would never be 
reached if they stopped at home. Brittany produces 
much, but uses little in the way of horseflesh, and she 
is the promised land of the horse-copers of all the 
neighbouring provinces. The produce of the 150,000 
mares goes to market during each year, and as the great 
fairs approach, the inns are crowded with the buyers 
from Normandy, Poitou, and Maine. The blue -eyed 
jovial Norman is easily distinguished — you may know 
him by the politeness towards the other guests with 
which he helps himself to the most tempting morsels at 
meals : his genial roguery is, however, more agreeable 
than the cantankerous honesty of his lean and morose- 
looking competitor from Maine and Poitou. From three 
to five thousand young horses are sold at each of these 
fairs. Horse-dealing is horse-dealing all the world over, 
but it is complicated in Brittany by the ignorance and 
suspicion of the sellers taking refuge from the sharpness 
of the buyers in a real or assumed want of knowledge of 
a mutual language ; on their fair-days not a Breton 
who has a horse to sell understands a word of 
French, until the bargain is completed; the patience 
of the buyer, however, always suffices to bring 
business to an end somehow, though not without an 
amount of noise from men and horses which make 
our English fairs seem tame and spiritless. 



222 BRITTANY, 

Pigs. Pigs are largely bred. The native breed is a great 

gaunt animal, wliicli picks np its living almost anyhow, 
but fattens rapidly when put on plenteous food, and 
kills well. Few are killed by the owners ; they are bred 
for sale, and the buyers don't like the English cross, they 
say they waste in cooking. It is, nevertheless, making 
its way rapidly, and probably the waste complained of 
v/as owing to bad judgment in feeding. The stock 
of pigs in Brittany amounts to 500,000 ; and at the 
large fairs, such as the one held at Quimper after the 
Christmas show, upwards of £4,000 v^orth are sold. 

Poultry. Poultry is not so much attended to as in Normandy 
or in Maine ; the money obtained is from the eggs, and 
not from the birds. Sixty thousand pounds' worth of 
eggs are sold out of the country yearly, and shipped 
to England, chiefly from Morlaix. 

Bees. 'j"]^Q most striking example of reaping without 

sowing is in the produce of the hives of Brittany. Of 
inferior colour and flavour to the honey of central j 
France, and carelessly prepared, it sells readily enough, 
though at a much less, price than would be obtained if 
the bee-keepers w^ould take more pains. The bees are 
usually killed, and the wax submitted to a strong 
pressure ; it is then placed in casks for sale, and as it 
contains much foreign matter, it easily ferments. The 
wax is sold in circular cakes, of sizes from 6 lbs. to half 
a hundredweight. A hive will bring in from 7s. to 12s. 
yearly, and many cottagers have from five to twelve 
hives. The total annual produce of the honey and wax 
amounts to over £160,000. 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOUEAINE. 



" Maine and Anjou liave the appearance of deserts. Ling wastes 
appear endless here, and I was told I could travel many days and 
see nothing else ; they were sixty miles in circumference, with no 
great interruptions. 

" All that I saw in the two provinces of Anjou and Maine are 
gravel, sand, or stone, generally a loamy sand or gravel ; some im- 
perfect schistus on a bottom of rock ; and much that would in the 
west of England be called a stone brash, and that would do ex- 
cellently well for turnips : they have the friability, but want the 
putrid moisture and fertile particles of the better loain. Immense 
tracts in both these provinces are wastes, under ling, fern, furze, &c. : 
but the soil of these does not vary from the cultivated parts, and 
with cultivation would be equally good. 

"Touraine is better. It contains some considerable districts, 
especially to the south of the Loire, where you find good mixed sandy 
and gravelly loams on a calcareous bottom ; considerable tracts in 
the northern part of the province are no better than Anjou and 
Maine, and like them it is not without its heaths and wastes." — 
Arthur Young, 1788. 

" Arthur Young saw in 1788 much barren heath and waste land 
which he would not find now. In a few years, if improvement 
proceeds at the same rate, Maine and Anjou will be in the front rank 
of national agriculture." — Leonce de Lavergne, 1866. 



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ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE, 225 

More than 6,000,000 acres of land, of which 
4,000,000 are arable, 670,000 grass, 600,000 forest, and 
nearly 250,000 waste, form the old provinces of Anjou, 
Maine, and Tonraine. 

The land is of infinite variety : barren heaths, that 
bear little besides the broom, which flourishes now as it 
did when the Plantagenets adopted it as their cogni- 
sance ; rich soil on the borders of the rivers ; granite 
hills ; vast forests, tenanted by bands of wild boars and 
herds of deer ; large districts, so thickly planted with 
fruit-trees that the country in the spring seems one sea 
of blossom ; small enclosures, surrounded by high 
hedges ; open plains of fine corn-land ; multitudes of 
little grassy hills ; valleys watered by numberless rivu- 
lets ; vineyards on sunny slopes ; an extensive system 
of internal navigation by rivers and canals permeating 
every part ; abundant and well-devised railway commu- 
nication ; excellent roads ; farming of all sorts, some of 
the largest and some of the smallest holdings in France , 
populous towns ; numerous villages ; noble chateaux ; 
fine churches ; manufactories ; water-mills ; mines ; fur- 
naces ; lime-kilns ; potteries ; marble, stone, and slate 
quarries, make this country an epitome of France, as 
France is an epitome of Europe ; and throughout all 
flows that noble river, not a bad type of France 
herself, now gliding peacefully , through the land, 
now breaking down its barriers, and destroying all 
before it. - • 

M. Leonce de Lavergne says, ''If I had to point 
out the happiest region of France, I should, without 
p 



226 ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

hesitation, name Normandy." This writer lias taught 
the world so much about his country, that people can 
form their own opinions on it, and if theirs differs from 
his, they will feel a kind of satisfaction in such differ- 
ence, as it implies considerable, if not complete, know- 
ledge of the subject ; and Anjou, Maine, and Touraine 
will seem to many Englishmen decidedly before 
ISTormandy in everything that makes life pleasant. 
'' The climate that admits the vine, but is not hot 
enough for the orange, I consider one of the finest 
climates in the world ; " and this is the chmate of 
these provinces. 

Some national prejudice may be at the bottom of this 
feeling; we never liked our Norman kings, while Anjou 
and Maine gave us a race of monarchs such as no other 
country can boast of. From the accession of Henry II. 
to that of Edward lY. (reputed the most handsome man 
of his day), no known family offers so many examples of 
manly beauty, and no ruling family of any country has 
produced so many popular favourites as that of the 
Plantagenets of Anjou. Under them we won Cressy, 
Poitiers, and Agincourt, and better still than these 
barren and mischievous triumphs, the commons won 
their liberties, and laid the solid foundations of our free 
constitution. Fontevraud in Anjou holds the bodies of 
the founders of the dynasty, Henry II. and his 
queen Eleanor, that of Bichard I., and of the mfe 
of King John ; at Le Mans in Maine is the monu- 
ment of Berengaria, wife of Eichard, Maine being her 
dowry. 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE, 227 

Successive generations liave confirmed tlie English.- 
man's view of these provinces, and the number of noble 
buildings of all dates and of every kind of destination is 
something marvellous. Each village seems to have its 
chateau, and no mean one ; and every kind of architec- 
ture has its representative. The most frequent examples 
are those of the Renaissance, and it is wonderful that so 
many should remain, and be in such perfect order — 
some because they have never been disturbed (the 
chateaux were not destroyed so wilfully here during the 
Revolution as elsewhere in France), others because they 
have been carefully restored. Chenonceaux, Azay-le- 
Rideau, and Usse, are known to all the world ; they 
were all built or enlarged in that grand period of the 
arts, the beginning of the sixteenth century. Lovely 
as they are, they are only larger representatives of many 
other buildings of the same date scattered about the 
country, and, on a smaller scale, equally charming. 
Many of them have buildings of the sixteenth century 
with their graceful details, and those of the seventeenth 
with their noble proportions, wedded to the stern 
fortress of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Mont- 
mirail, Le Lude, Courtanvaux, Sable, Langeais are 
important instances of this. In the present day the 
attraction of the country remains unimpaired ; new 
buildings have sprung up, some of modest pretensions 
but elegant design, others of more importance, and in 
one instance at least — that of the chateau at Bourg 
d'Ire, built for the Comte de Falloux — rivalling in size 
and grandeur those of any former period, 
p 2 



228 ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

The elegance of these habitations is not in the 
bnildings only; nowhere is the art of internal decoration 
so well understood as in France, and nowhere is it 
better applied than here ; the climate and soil lend them- 
selves admirably to all the productions of the garden: 
flowers, fruits, and shrubs ^add powerfully to the charms 
of a residence in this favoured country. There are 
camellias in Anjou 25 feet high and 12 to 15 inches 
round the stem ; some of them are forty years old, and 
have stood the intense frosts which occasionally visit 
the country in the winter, even to the extent of 20 to 
25 degrees below freezing-point of Fahrenheit. Cold 
does not seem to hurt them — snow is their greatest 
enemy; but snow here, w4ien it falls, melts at once. 
Frost or snow on the leaves exposed to a burning sun, 
each drop of water acting as a burning-glass, would 
ruin camellias : protected from that, they do not fear 
cold so much as is generally supposed; and in Anjou, 
when the frost is intense, there is no moisture. Pome- 
granates, magnolias, and rhododendrons attain the size 
almost of forest-trees. 

Society here has an elegant provincialism different 
from the provincialism of other parts of France ; not 
dull and dead, as in most of the smaller towns, nor 
bustling and jDUshing, as at tlie ports and the large 
centres of manufactm-e, and it is very far from being 
Parisian in character : it offers, on the whole, the best 
example remaining of what French society Avas in its 
best days. Few fortunes are ver}^ large, but moderate 
and easy ones are abundant ; landowners live much on 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE, 229 

their estates, and tliey farm very much, on joint account 
with, their tenants, whose holdings are small, and there 
are very few day-labourers. This association of classes 
has given a tone to society of all grades, and the 
peasants in Touraine speak French like courtiers. Tour 
towns — Angers, Tours, Le Mans, and Laval — are the 
chief centres of the literary and commercial activity of 
the country. Of these. Angers is the largest ; it con- 
tains on its boulevards many houses that would not 
look out of place among the palaces of the Champs 
Elysees, and a club larger than any in Pall Mall, but 
whose destination, as typified by the group which sur- 
mounts the front, representing arts, commerce, and 
agriculture, is different from that of the London clubs, 
and its fine concert-room is remarkable for its good 
•acoustic properties. Tours and Le Mans have also a 
good contingent of handsome residences, and all three 
are well provided with buildings for the public service, 
such as libraries, museums, &c. : the theatre at Tours is 
especially handsome. 

The western part of this district. High Maine and 
High Anjou, is much wooded ; not that there is much 
forest here, but the enclosures are small, the fields have 
great hedges with timber in them, and are most com- 
monly planted with fruit-trees. It is a country of 
narrow valleys and many rivulets, a continuation of the 
Bocage country of La Yendee ; the roads are mere lanes 
or tracts, between high banks. This excess of shade 
has its advantage in sheltering the grass, of which there 
is much, from the scorching rays of the sun. " The 



230 ANJOU, MAIJVE, AND TOURAINE, 

cattle in tlie Bocage don't want parasols " is a saying in 
the country. Cattle are largely bred here, but not reared, 
being sold for fattening upon the better food and richer 
pastures of Lower Maine and Normandy. The land 
improves in quality considerably towards the Loire and 
on the Sarthe. The largest part of the department of 
the Sarthe is formed of Jurassic Hmestone, perhaps the 
richest of all soils, and some of it is of a deep red 
colour ; here the country is more open, and fruit-trees 
in the fields are not so frequent. 

Touraine, south of the Loire, partakes of the bare 
and poor character of central France, with rounded 
hills of thin chalky soil ; it is desolate, sparsely 
inhabited, and unattractive out of the valleys. Here the 
property is in large holdings ; estates of from 2,000 up 
to 5,000 acres are frequent enough, but the land does 
not let for more than ten shilhngs per acre. The valleys 
of the Cher, the Indre, the Yienne, and the Creuse, are 
rich and occasionally picturesque, but the only part of 
Touraine that really justifies the title of the Garden of 
France, sometimes given to it, is the small corner 
between the Forest of Chinon and the rivers Yienne and 
Loire, the country called Yeron. 

Between the river Lidre and the railway from Tours 
to Poitiers is one of the most extensive beds of marine 
fossils to be seen in France, a prodigious mass extending 
over 40,000 acres, called Les Falunieres. It varies in 
depth, in some parts being as much as sixty feet. As 
many as 300 varieties have been recognised : they form 
an excellent fertiliser. 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 231 

The metayer system of tenancy prevails liere ex- Farming 
tensiyely; indeed, it is the ordinary system of the 
country. The conditions vary upon almost every estate. 
In some cases the division of profit is made in kind, and 
formerly this was general; but now division of the 
money product is becoming more common. The land- 
owner frequently finds implements, seeds, and stock, 
charging the cost to the joint account. This system 
does not solve the question as to what is the best 
relation in which landlords and tenants should stand 
towards each other ; but it is universally successful here, 
where the landlords usually live on their estates. It 
doubles the capital on the land, and admits the direction 
of intelligence ; it is a true partnership of interests. 
The farmer has his share in good times, and is helped 
over bad ones. It appears to be well suited to the 
habits of the French people in those parts where there 
are few large undertakings, few labourers living on 
wages, and where the farms are limited to the extent 
that one family can work — often as small as from ten 
to twenty acres in fertile places, seldom exceeding a 
hundred. In those districts where the land is less good, 
and where the owners are not resident, some of the worst 
farming in France is exhibited under this system, and 
the presence of the metayers is a hindrance to improve • 
ment. Maine and Anjou are most favourably situated. 
There are a sufficient number of large proprietors able 
to set an example of improvement; and they take a 
pride in doing so. The Marquis de Talhouet-Eoy, at 
Le Lude, owns 10,000 acres, and he has quite trans- 



232 ANJOU, MAINE, AND, TOURAINE. 

Farming, formed tlie property since it came into his possession ; 
there are others who approach him in the number of 
acres, and are not below him in the good work they are 
doing. These large properties are exceptional; the 
general size of the estates is such as will bring in an 
income of from £200 to £400 a year; and the manage- 
ment of them is greatly influenced by what is being 
done upon the larger properties. Improvement has 
been daily progressing since the time when Arthur 
Young crossed this country just before the Great 
Revolution, and found the land covered with wild heath 
seemingly without end. He was assured that he might 
travel there for days, and see nothing else in a circle of 1 50 
miles. He visited one landowner, who had bought an 
estate of 3,000 acres, with a grand chateau and large 
outbuildings, for £12,000; but the land was in culti- 
vation, and planted and stocked, and the chateau 
furnished; which glides an idea of a very low value 
for the rest of the country. The thousands of peasant 
proprietors now drawing comfort and wealth from this 
land do not remember personally the former state of 
the country, but they have heard it described by their 
fathers ; and distance lends no enchantment to the 
view. 

Barley. The character of the soil and climate is shown by 
the produce ; of the 4,000,000 acres of arable land, more 
than 1,000,000 are under wheat, and 300,000 barley. 
The barley is not a poor substitute for better corn, but 
some of the best in France; the Sarthe barley being 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 23 



Q 



well known and esteemed, and largely bought by tbe 
English, brewers. The miserable makeshifts of rye and 
buckwheat are now but little grown, and that little 
is decreasing yearly. Nearly half the arable land is 
devoted to crops bearing a high money value — such as 
hemp, of which there are over 80,000 acres, 30,000 Hemp, 
being in Sarthe — more than in any other department. 
Of cabbages there are 43,000 acres, 28,000 of them in Cabbages. 
Maine et Loire, the largest of any department in France. 
There are 212,000 acres of vines, nearly all in Maine Vines. 
et Loire and Indre et Loire ; and the produce sells 
for nearly £1,500,000 sterling to the growers. And a 
very considerable area is occupied in the growth of 
vegetables, that are packed in tins and sent to all parts J^^^ll 
of the world — ^such as peas, tomatoes, French beans, &c. 
There is an enormous consumption of these through the 
winter months in France itself; and there is hardly a 
grocer's shop in the United Kingdom but has a supply 
of them, or a passenger-ship leaving any port in Europe 
but has them as part of her stores. Jerusalem artichokes ^^^}' 

^ chokes. 

are greatly cultivated as food for cattle, both the roots 
and leaves being used. They yield sometimes as much 
as 400 bushels per acre, but this is exceptional ; and 
they do well upon thin sandy soil. Grreen maize is a Maize. 
great resource in a country where the heat is too great 
for pastures anywhere but on the banks of streams or 
under shade, and is much grown. Two thousand acres of 
pumpkins, yielding forty tons per acre, aid considerably Pumpkins 
in the nourishment both of man and beast ; clover, rye- 
grass, onion-seeds, liquorice, aniseed, and coriander, bring seeds. 



234 ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

in much money to tlie country ; and there is no small 

return from tlie many hundreds of acres of land devoted 

Orchard- ^^ ^]^q rearing^ of srarden and orchard-trees and plants, 

trees. & o r ' 

which not only sujoply France, but are exported largely, 
even to America. Orders for camellias by the thousand 
are received by the florists of Angers ; and the apple 
and pear-trees reared there have a world-wide repu- 
tation. MM. Le Roy, at Angers, use 500 acres in this 
cultivation. Their catalogue contains a list of 3,000 
different kinds of fruit-trees, and of 4,000 forest and 
ornamental trees and shrubs. It may seem that only 
a moderate proportion of these fruit-trees are really 
valuable ; but they have all produced fruit, which has 
been tasted, and they have special quahties which 
render them useful for planting in various climates and 
soils, and for coming into use at various seasons : any 
not used in the business, or not likely to be used, would 
soon be discarded. 

Fruit- ^\\.Q abundance of fruit-trees interferes much with 

trees. 

the growth, and especially with the even ripening of the 
corn, though less than it would in the damp climate 
of England. The produce costs so little that they are 
not likely to diminish; but it is doubtful if there is not 
more lost than gained by their presence. At the small 
Chestnuts, town of Cliciteau du Loir chestnuts are sold to the value 
of £4,000 yearly, and many others must have a trade 
equal to this. Most of the oil used through the countrj^ 
AVainuts. for table and other purposes is from walnuts ; besides 
which, many thousand sacks are shipped to England. 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 235 

The yield of the arrondissement of Chinon is 200,000 
bushels yearly. During the season the railway stations 
are piled up with packages of ripe fruit, apples, pears, Fruit. 
strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, and plums. 
Touraine sends yearly to Paris, England, and Eussia 
5,000 tons of apples, 1,000 tons of pears, 65 tons of 
strawberries, and 80 tons of cherries. The dried plums 
of Tours have a great celebrity. A good tree will 
yield 35 to 40 lbs. of green fruit, equal to about 10 lbs. 
of dried. The choicest quality, which run about fifty to 
the pound, make only Is. per pound retail, after all the 
expense of drying, packing, and carriage. They 
are dried first in the sun, and afterwards in stoves 
gradually, requiring to be withdrawn and put back 
into the stoves sometimes as often as six times. 
The arrondissement of Chinon produces 300 tons of 
dried plums yearly, which give £8,000 to £10,000 
to the growers. 

The whole of this country has made great advances 
during the last few years. Eailways have rendered 
the dehvery of manures easy, and have opened up 
markets for the disposal of perishable produce, such as 
fruit, which until the railways were established wasted 
yearly by tons. By this time it is perhaps second only 
to the north of France in pure farming — that is, corn 
and cattle growing, and has this enormous advantage 
over the north, that it is not overdone with population. 



The population of 1,600,000 is small for the area. Popula- 
tion. 

being only 169 to the square mile. The average of 



236 ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

Popuia- I^rance is 175. ]^ormandy, we have seen, is over 
189, and Brittany 220. This indicates, among so 
much agricultural wealth, a large amount of personal 
comfort : 739,000 are returned as living collected 
together, and 870,000 as scattered; but the scattered 
population is not isolated as that in Brittany, the pro- 
d.uctions of the soil causing communications to be more 
frequent. Kather more than 20 per cent, are urban, 
and nearly 80 per cent, rural, and the same peculiarity 
is noticeable here as in Normandy, that in a wealthy and 
prosperous country, the reduction of population since the 
last census should be large — viz., 3*45 per cent. The 
occupations of the people are mainly agricultural, the 
manufactures being almost exclusively connected with 
the produce of the land. Linen is made from home- 
grown flax, sail-cloths and sacking from the hemp, and 
almost wholly at the workmen's homes. 12,000 to 
15,000 workmen are engaged in this branch of business 
, at Laval, and in the neighbouring villages. There are 
many tan-yards and lime-works, some iron-foundries and 
paper-mills ; water-mills enliven most of the streams-. 
3,000 to 4,000 men are employed near Angers, quarrying 
slate. 50,000 to 60,000 workmen, spread about in 120 
villages round Cholet, make up flax and wool into linen 
and druggets, and the cheap handkerchiefs for which 
that place is celebrated. Saumur employs 600 hands 
in making enamels, chiefly for chaplets. Tours makes 
silk for furniture, and has a celebrated printing-office, 
employing 1,200 workmen, and which can turn out 
15,000 volumes a day. Le Mans is the seat of a large 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 237 

manufacture of preserved vegetables. Few of these 
occupations require tlie concentration of people in large 
numbers in factories, and they have most of them 
some time to attend to their small patch of ground. 
But the chief trade of the country is directly in the 
export of agricultural produce, corn of all kinds, grass, 
seeds, hemp, wine, cattle, and poultry, and this trade is 
purely rural. 



In point of instruction, as judged by the proportion ^^^^ca- 
of those who can neither read nor write above the age of 
six years, this region is below the average of France, it 
being a trifle over thirty- six per cent. France is a little 
under thirty- one ; but there seems a natural culture 
which disguises or rises above^this educational deficiency; 
and Touraine, which exhibits this deficiency the most 
largely, having more than forty-three per cent, of its 
population in the state of ignorance indicated, possesses 
the natural culture in the most eminent degree ; but the 
people all through Anjou, Maine, and Touraine, are 
above the average of the world in the neatness of their 
persons, and the cleanliness and comfort of their 
habitations. 

The cattle in Anjou and Maine (Touraine may be Cattle. 
omitted, as it has so few) has always been reared for the 
value of the meat. Little of the farm- work is done by 
cattle, nor is much butter made ; so there is no clashing 
of interests between those who want working-oxen or 
milking-cows and those who want an animal primarily 



238 ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

Cattle. fQ]^ -tlie butcher. Maine et Loire sends most fat cattle 
to the Paris market, next to Calvados ; but, unlike 
Calvados, the cattle are home-bred, whereas in addition 
to its own supply Calvados buys much in Anjou and 
Maine. A large part, indeed, of the cattle reared in 
these two provinces is fatted on the pastures of Nor- 
mandy. This business is not so advantageous as it 
ought to be, as the beasts are often three or four years 
old before they are sold lean, whereas they ought to be 
fit for the butcher at that age, and would be if the 
breeders were more careful in their winter treatment 
of their beasts. 

The breed is a local breed of doubtful purity — the 
Manceaux — but has been so much crossed with the 
shorthorn that any signs of a native race, if there 
ever were one, have disappeared. The shorthorn blood 
has quite taken the pre-eminency, and at the markets 
the majority of the stock on sale might have come 
out of Northamptonshire. It is here, and here only 
in France, that the shorthorn has been accepted Avithout 
contestation ; the breed has really become shorthorn. 
There is no establishment of a distinct race as the 
Nivernais, which is really the outcome of a cross of the 
Charollais and shorthorn, but an absolute conversion of 
an inferior meat-producing race into a superior one, and 
the English shorthorn has been the factor. The western 
part of Anjou is the chief breeding locality, and the 
beasts are fatted in the eastern part and in Maine. 
They have good carcases, and are particularly good 

:^ in their fore -quarters, but are usually beaten in the 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 239 

Paris shows by the cattle from Nivernais, whose hind- Cattle. 
quarters are superior. 

There are some fine herds of shorthorns in Maine 
and Anjou ; that of the Comte de Falloux is considered 
the best in France. The Marquis de Talhouet-Eoy — 
at Le Lude, on the borders of Sarthe and Maine et 
Loire — the Marquis de la TuUaye, and Baron Guay, 
have some fine animals ; but good specimens can be 
seen on every important farm. Sales are held frequently 
at Le Mans, and twice in each year at Laval, of stock 
either imported direct or descended from imported 
parents, under the auspices of the local agricultural 
societies, and in some cases at their risk, usually when 
that is the case resulting in loss ; but by this means 
the breed has been greatly improved, and the shorthorn 
has added enormously to the value of the breed in 
Maine and Anjou. The Bates blood seems to be pre- 
ferred to the Booth. 

At the October sale at Laval, in 1876, fifty-seven 
animals were offered, and the best were sold to buyers 
from Sarthe, from Charente, and even from the far-off 
department of the Rhone. The prices reached £24 to 
£40 for yearling bulls ; one calf of five months old made 
£29 ; several cows £24 to £36. Four hundred entries 
are made yearly in the French shorthorn herd-book from 
the department of Mayenne, which, with Sarthe, is con- 
sidered the centre of shorthorn breeding in France. 

A competent jndge, M. Sanson, professor at the 
Agricultural College at Grignon, says that the shorthorn 
in Maine and Anjou diminishes in size, and that not 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE. 

from any unsuitableness of soil or climate, but from. 
too poor feeding in winter. He puts the deficiency 
at as much as 25 per cent, below the general average 
of the breed elsewhere ; he does not say in England, 
so presumably he alludes to France, and probably he 
means that this is the loss comparing stock well done 
to with that badly fed. 

Poultry. Maine, however, is proud of its poultry, and justly 
so. There are nearly 3,000,000 head in the district, 
and immense quantities are sent up to the Paris 
market. The kind almost exclusively used is that 
of La Meche, considered the best- flavoured bird in 
France. It is said to be rather delicate, or rather not 
to succeed so well in other places as it does at home. 
This reputation for quality is of old date — so old that 
the memory of man runneth not to the contrar}^. 

Bees. Sixty thousand pounds per annum are gathered from 
beehives, a pure gift of nature realised without cost, 
and as the reward of little care. 

Wine Vineyards bring in most money from the smallest 
area : there are but about 200,000 acres, and they 
produce to the growers not much short of a million 
and a half of money. They are mostly on the slopes of 
the Loire valley, and are held in very small patches, 
which are managed entirely by the o^^^aLer and his 
family. A A^ery small bit suffices to keep such a 
family in comfort, and there is hardly a vineyard 



ANJOU, MAINE, AND TOURAINE, 241 

proprietor among them, however small his property 
may be, but has some savings invested in a government 
loan, while many of them are really rich. 

Except in Mayenne, there are no more horses than Horses. 
are nsed in ordinary farming work, but Mayenne partakes 
of the horse -rearing capacities of it neighbours, Orne 
and Manche, and, like the latter, sells its young stock as 
soon as weaned, for conversion into Normandy horses. 

The sheep are too few" in Anjou and Maine to sheep. 
call for much notice. This ought not to be, as '' there 
is not a country better calculated for sheep than Anjou; 
it is all dry sound sand and gravel, and not too poor." 
They seem, however, to be increasing in quality, if 
not in numbers, and at the show at Angers in June, 
1877, the entries of Leicesters were so large and so good 
that supplementary prizes had to be given. There 
are large flocks in Touraine of the type of sheep from 
Berri and Poitou : they are reared upon the bare sheep- 
walks and chalky downs, and are of poor quahty ; but 
improvement is reaching them, and some of the best 
Berri sheep at the Paris show in 1877 came from 
Touraine. They were exhibited by M. Duval from 
a very poor part of the country near Loches ; his name 
is a new one as a breeder, but he promises well. Three 
of his Berri sheep under thirteen months old weighed an 
average of 143 lbs. each; and another three an average 
of 133 ; his Southdown crosses weighed at the same 
age 155i lbs. and 147 lbs. each. 
Q 



P I T U. 



"PoiTOU is an unimproved, poor, and ngly country. It seems to 
want communication, demand, and activity of all kinds, nor does it, 
on an average, yield the half of wliat it might. The lower part is of 
a fertility that deserves to be classed with the richest soils of 
France." — Aethur Young, 1788. 

'' Large tracts of uncultivated land are still found here, but im- 
provement has penetrated, and everything is rapidly changing. 
Barren heaths are disappearing yearly."— Leonce de Lavergne, 1865. 



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FoiTOU. 245 

A range of granite mountains, too ambitiously called 

the Yendeen Alps, runs across Poitou from nortli-west 

to south-east, and has quite sufficient attractions of its 

own to make it independent of any reputation to be 

gained by borrowed names. The hills at their highest 

points are only about 900 feet above the level of the sea, 

but they are well wooded and watered, and have fine 

views overlooking the country towards the sea and the 

mouth of the Loire, the old Duchy of Eetz, which, with 

these mountains, was the territory of the famous Gilles 

de Laval, the original Blue Beard of nursery tale. His 

castle of Pouzauges commands a view of the whole 

country from the towers of St. Pierre at Nantes, fifty 

miles away, to the borders of the sea, sixty miles distant, 

and sister Anne had every chance of seeing the cloud of 

dust caused by coming help, from the top of the donjon 

towers, whose walls of enormous thickness 

" Stand there to this day, 
To witness if I lie." 

Covering the northern end of these mountains, and 
extending over the north of the departments of La Yendee 
and Deux Sevres, and into that of Maine et Loire, is the 
Bocage, the true Yendee, which has obtained an undying 
name in history. No country coujd be more suited to the 
purposes of an insurrection of undisciplined peasantry 
against trained troops. Small fields of from two to eight 
acres are surrounded by hedges six to nine feet high, 
thickly planted with fruit-trees, or with pollard oaks ; the 
roads are mere deep narrow lanes forming an inextricable 
labyrinth in which strangers become easily bewildered, 



246 POiTov. 

and where tlie soldiers fell an easy prey to tlie insurgents, 
who knew every inch of the country, and who were used 
to handle a gun from childhood. The hedges take up a 
full yard, and another yard is lost to the plough from 
the presence of roots of the trees ; there is much grass, 
carefully improved by irrigation where springs permit 
its use. 

The aspect of the country has not changed since 
the wars of the Ee volution, except by the creation of 
over 200 miles of high roads, by the making of railways, 
and by the improvement of the small ports on the coast. 
La Yendee, from being the worst among the depart- 
ments of France in respect of its road communications, 
is now one of the best; these new roads cover 1,000 
acres of land, and they absorbed or reduced as many 
as 7,000 different holdings. 

Soil. To the eastward of the mountains the country par- 
takes of the character of Central France ; some of the 
land is very good, but there is much poor clay, barren 
heath, and Avaste. On the west, after leaving the Socage, 
there is a great extent of good land with chalk subsoil, 
farmed chiefly by small owners, producing corn far 
beyond local wants ; it is, indeed, the part of France 
which has the largest surplus, and Poitou exports 
yearly over 1,000,000 quarters of corn, chiefly wheat. 
Some of this land is of astonishing fertility, and bears 
corn for five or six years consecutively mth little or no 
manure. After harvest the roads to the ports and to 
the railway stations are alive with great wagons heavily 



FOiTou. 247 

laden witli corn, eacli drawn by three pairs of Partlienay 
oxen, themselves the colour of golden grain. Here wheat 
is everything, cattle nothing. The marshes of Poitou, 
between this corn-land and the sea, cover a space of 
about thirty-five miles by twelve, and they extend into 
the department of Charente Inferieure for seven miles 
more. They are of comparatively recent formation, and 
in the twelfth century the sea extended to the foot of 
heights which are now far inland. The sea still con- 
tinues to retire, or the land still upheaves, and it is 
reckoned that about seventy acres are added to the 
marshes every year. It is almost within the memory of 
people now living — certainly they hold the knowledge 
from those who immediately preceded them — that ships 
have discharged at piers which are now in the middle of 
green fields, and piles with rings in them for mooring 
ships are met with a long way from the sea. Five 
miles from the coast, and at a considerable elevation 
above the sea-level, there are many beds of shell-fish of 
the same nature as those found on the coast at present. 
The 'largest of these is 700 yards long by 300 yards at 
the base, and from thirty to fifty feet high. Many of 
the shells are quite perfect, having the valves united by 
ligaments, and have not changed colour ; they still con- 
tain some animal matter, the remains of the fish that 
formerly filled them. The villages and farmsteads are 
built upon elevations, mostly of chalk formation, which 
were at one time islands, and are still called so, and, 
indeed, often become so again during the winter floods ; 
the small area of land on them is remarkably fertile. 



248 poiTOU. 

On tliese islands, and on points of land wMch. tlie sea 
at one time readied, tliere are enormous deposits of 
aslies, some as mncli as nine feet thick, and wliicli cover 
many acres ; wlien not npon an island, tliey are always 
found near a stream, and they rest upon the hard clay 
subsoil, which formed the bottom of the gulf when it 
was covered by the sea. Occasionally the clay superposes 
the ashes, and sometimes alternates with them ; evidences 
of human habitation are found amonof the ashes. 

Nearly 20,000 aiCres of these marshes are undrained, 
and they are covered with reeds almost like a forest. 
Two sorts are chiefly grown, and they bring in a 
revenue of from 30s. to 50s. an acre ; the reeds are used 
for thatching, and for strengthening the dykes. There 
are also here extensive salt-works. 

There is great variety in the size of the holdings 
in this fen-country. Where the land has long been 
drained, and has become solid, the holdings are small, 
seldom exceeding 50 to 100 acres, but in some cases 
reaching 400 or 500 acres, which latter are rented 
by farmers for a money-rent of from £400 up to £800 
per annum ; where they have not been long or are not 
wholly drained, and where the land is sound only on 
the surface, as is the case with much of it, the holdings 
are much larger, extending to 2,000 acres. A great 
deal of the sound land is very stiff, but fertile, yielding 
a good return without manure. As many as from eight 
to ten oxen are required to j^lough it up into rough 
ridges. Two-thirds of the land is under grass, much of 



FOITOIT, 249 

it as good as tlie pastures of Normandy ; and one-tliird 
under wheat, winter barley, or beans, of which last a 
large quantity is grown. 

The whole marsh- country is cut up into squares, Fens. 
divided by ditches, which are usually from six to nine 
feet wide, and four or five deep, secured by embank- 
ments ; they vary, however, considerably. Through 
them a hmpid stream glides gradually to the various 
outfalls, sometimes over aqueducts, and under the shade 
of pollard trees, with which the dykes are almost always 
planted. 

The drainage is far from perfect, as during every 
winter the rivers which cross the marshes partially 
overflow them, and the water does not completely 
subside before the month of May. In March a coarse 
but succulent grass grows in prodigious quantities, 
which the half-wild cattle greedily devour, standing 
with the water above their knees during whole days. 
When the waters have all drained off an abundant 
pasture quickly follows, which is eaten down. A month 
or six weeks is long enough to grow and mature a 
heavy crop of coarse hay, to which succeeds a luxuriant 
vegetation, forced by the extreme heats of summer from 
a moist soil, which lasts until the usual winter inunda- 
tion. It is hardly possible to conceive an existence 
more miserable than that of the inhabitants of the 
undrained or partially- drained marshes during the 
winter. The marshman lives in his punt; in it he 
tends his cattle, takes his produce to the nearest market, 



250 PoiTOU. 

Fens, spreads his nets, collects the reeds which feed his cow, 
thatch his hut, and, mixed with mud, help to build it. 
In his punt he watches for the wild fowl which come in 
winter over the still waters in countless thousands. At 
night the punt floats into the hut, where the family 
and the cow find shelter side by side. At times of 
heavy floods the household takes refuge in the punt, 
cooking, eating, and sleeping in it as it floats upwards 
to the roof on the rising waters. From earhest life to 
death the punt is the marshman's home. As a child 
he is carried in it to the baptismal font ; in it he brings 
home his bride ; and when his last hour has come, the 
holy emblems are borne to him over the waters, and his 
body is taken to the burial-ground in the punt in which 
his life has been passed. 

Through the whole marsh there is no fuel but that 
formed from the dung of cattle tempered with water 
and mixed with chopped straw or reeds, and which fills 
the hut with a pungent smoke. 

Popula- rpi^Q population of Poitou is small, being onl}^ 13S 
to the square mile, and is returned as being 484,000 
living collected together, and 657,000 as scattered; in 
La Vendee especially the population is solitar}^ The 
towns are few and small; the largest in Poitou, the 
capital of the province, having only 30,000 inhabitants, 
and the most important town in La Vendee numbering 
less than 9,000. The occupations of the people are 
chiefly rural, only 14*45 per cent, being classed as urban. 
Such a population, unless under the influence of some 



p'oiTOU, 251 

special cause, does not change mucli ; but Poitou has 
not escaped the general decrease of France ; it, however, 
only amounts to 0*86 per cent. 



Education is below the averas^e, 45*5 per cent, of^duca- 

^, ' ^ tion. 

those above the age of six years being unable to read or 
write. 



Poitou has given its name to a giant cabbage largely Cabbages. 
grown through the west of France. There are three 
sorts, none of which form heads, but the stalk of one 
kind is filled with a soft pith, which is very nutritious ; 
this kind is less hardy than the other two. On small 
farms, where the leaves are carefully gathered by the 
family of the farmer, five tons per acre are obtained in 
the autumn, half that quantity at the end of winter, 
and, when the plants are finally cut down in the spring, 
they yield from seven to ten tons, including the stalks, 
which are chopped up. On larger farms the produce is 
less, as the expense of these successive pickings would 
be too heavy with hired labour : the plants here are cut 
down at once when wanted, and the yield is from eleven 
to thirteen tons, from about 5,000 plants per acre. The 
leaves are always given to the cattle mixed with dry 
food. The growth of cabbage is extending into the 
centre of France, where much waste land is being 
broken up and brought into cultivation. Eoots, with 
the partial exception of kohl rabi, do not succeed, and 
cabbage is found to be the best first crop on fresh soil. 



252 POiTOU. 

Beet. Sugar-beet lias not yet been grown in tbe west of 

France except experimentally, bnt tbe refiners of colonial 
sugars at Nantes, finding tbeir trade leaving tbem in 
consequence of the production in the north, have started 
a company (1876), with a capital of £400,000, to estab- 
lish manufactories of raw sugar from beet in the depart- 
ments of the west of France, which will include Anjou, 
Maine, Touraine, Poitou, and Brittany ; the direction 
is formed of the leading sugar-refiners of ^Nantes, and 
some of the principal merchants. It seems rather a 
bold undertaking in the present condition of the manu- 
facture, but it is based on the experience of M. Etienne, 
head of a large sugar-refinery at Nantes, who has w^orked 
a manufactory on his estate near Palluau, after assur- 
ance that the soil was suitable for the growth of sugar- 
beet. The trials extended over a period of twelve years, 
and have resulted in the conviction that a minimum 
crop of twelve tons of root per acre may be depended 
upon, the crops having varied from twelve to twenty- 
four tons. A crop of twelve tons per acre, selling on 
the spot at 14s. 2d. the ton, would yield a gross return 
of £8 10s. per acre, in addition to which the pulp would 
be returned free of charge, thus giving back about six 
tons of good cattle food. This result may be obtainable 
profitably in the w^est, where rent and labour are both 
much cheaper than elsewhere in France, and would 
cause quite a revolution in the farming of La Vendee. 
Instead of selling their stock lean to the dealers for 
fattening at Cholet, the farmers would be able to stall- 
^ feed at home, thus gaining a good supply of manure, 



poiTOU, 253 

which will increase their corn-crops by a third, or even 
double them. It may be expected that there will be an 
additional return of something like £3 per acre, not 
only in the year in which the beet is grown, but also 
in that in which corn will follow it. 

Among* the smaller articles srrown, small by com- ^mailer 

^ o ' J Produce. 

parison with corn and grass, but important from the 
amount of money they bring in to the small landowners, 
are the angelica plant near Niort ; garlic and shallots 
among the sand-hills on the borders of the sea near 
Aiguillon ; rape upon land flooded during winter ; flax 
upon the reclaimed land, and upon chalk ; 'hemp largely 
in the fens ; sorgho, a kind of maize, from the seed- 
branches of which enormous quantities of brooms are 
made ; f enugrec, a plant the aromatic seeds of which 
are used to finish off the fattening of cattle and mules. 
The nature of the soil and the warmth of the climate 
in most parts of France allow the growth of these 
various kinds of produce, all requiring close and constant 
attention, and so enable owners of small lots of land to 
make a profit, which it would be impossible to make 
under corn cultivation. 

Fruit-trees, as chestnuts, walnuts, plums, almonds. Fruit. 
pear-trees, and apples, occupy a great deal of the land, 
and realise a considerable income, though the yield from 
each tree appears extremely small. There is certainly 
no expense attending their cultivation ; but upon good 
soils, and with improved farming, it is probable that. 



254 PoiTou. 

considering the loss of the ground occupied by the roots, 
and the injury to the corn caused by the shade, they 
are really unprofitable. It is reckoned that a good 
walnut-tree will produce thirty-five bushels, weighing 
one hundredweight ; and as it takes two hundredweight 
of crushed walnuts to make one hundredweight of oil, 
selling at forty-five shillings, the money yield of a tree 
is only about twenty-two shillings. Walnut-oil is the 
only oil in general use through the country. 

Islands. Qff ]^^^ pg^^^ ^f ^^ coast of Francc are several islands, 
one of the most important, that of Noirmoustier, belongs 
to La Vendee. Originally a rock, it has gradually in- 
creased by the dejDOsit of mud, and can now be reached 
by land at low water. It contains about 11,000 acres, 
two-thirds of which are below the level of high tides, 
and much of it is covered with sand-hills. There are 
3,000 acres of salt-marshes, and about 6,000 acres are 
very highly cultivated. Fisheries, salt-works, the coast- 
ing trade, and some vineyards, bring much wealth to the 
8,000 inhabitants, who mostly o^\^l the land they work, 
and when any bit is to be sold it makes readily enough 
more than £80 per acre. Perhaps in no part of Europe 
can there be found a people more '' before the world " 
in all their wants than the inhabitants of these islands. 

Cattle. Poitou has a special breed of cattle rarely met far 
from its limits, except at fat-stock markets, and pre- 
served within those limits from any cross with the 
most scrupulous care. Down in the fens, up amcng the 



POITOU. 



255 



wooded heights, and in the plains, the same kind of ^^^*^®- 
cattle is seen. Known nnder the general name of 
Parthenay, they show no difference to the eye of the 
uninitiated, but to those who breed them there are at 
least three distinct types. 




PAKTHENAY OX. 



They are all of the same colour, that of ripe corn, 
with black legs and muzzles, and tapering horns slightly 
turned upwards, but the breed in the fens is bony, 
rough, and coarse ; that in the upper country fine and 
delicate. The difference arises from difference of treat- 
ment. In the fens the cattle are herded for three winter 
months in close dirty hovels, barely kept alive with 
straw and coarse hay. As soon as the waters have 
drained off in March, they are turned out, young and 
old together, into the half-liquid mud, in which they 
lie for some weeks. The warmth and dryness of April 



256 PoiTou. 

Cattle. and May fiirnisli a supply of nourishing food, and in 
an incredibly short time the ragged, dirty masses of 
skin and bone become handsome well-covered beasts, 
which sell readily to the grass-farmers of Normandy. 

The relatives of these ill-treated beasts live quite 
another life upon the hills of La Vendee. Their 
parentage is carefully selected ; nourished with abund- 
ance of milk from the day they are born (for the 
Yendeen farmer considers that no milk, or any produce 
from milk should leave the farm), they never quit the 
shelter of the homestead. The females are kept at 
home for breeding, the males are sold to other farmers 
who do not breed, small farmers who buy more young 
animals than the work of the land really requires, and 
who train them gently for the harder work that may 
come to them as they grow older. That harder work, 
however, never really comes, as all through the life of 
the Yendee ox the master is careful never to overwork 
him, or to work him too long ; his destination is the 
fat- cattle market, and while taking all the profit he can 
out of his animals this destination is never lost sight 
of. Six and eight oxen are employed to do the work 
of two or four ; the Yendeen farmer cannot have one 
set of animals for his work and another for his profit, 
and he tries his best to combine the two, and with suc- 
cess, for when the autumn labour is done, and the corn 
delivered, the stock put up to feed through the winter 
lay on flesh rapidly, and find a good market with the 
buyers in the rich farms near Cholet, who finish them 
o:ff for"" Paris, upon natural food, farm produce, not upon 



poiTOU. , 257 

"beetroot pulp, or cake, which the Cholet people declare Cattle. 
give a detestable flavour to the meat, and on this 
account no cattle are more appreciated. 

The Yendeen cattle are the purest of the breed called 
Parthenay ; indeed, the Yendeens rather complain that 
writers will persist in calling their stock Parthenay, and 
no race in France has had more honour from artists and 
authors. The beautiful colour of the well- car ed-for 
portion of the breed ; its coat shining with careful groom- 
ing ; the large, full, soft eye like that of a deer, fringed 
with a soft, pearly down, and surrounded by a dark rim 
like a pair of spectacles ; the delicate head ; the black 
muzzle, also fringed with the same pearly down, have 
attracted the notice of writers who do not look beyond 
the beauty of the animal about which they write. The 
breed, however, deserves, from its inherent qualities, all 
the good that has been said of it, and its outside comeli- 
ness is a real indication of its true worth. Brought up 
in close communion with its owners, never sleeping out 
of the stable, well fed and gently worked, it hardly ever 
feels a blow or hears a harsh word. Should a couple in 
a moment of forgetfulness give way to anger and cross 
their horns, they are not separated by blows, the goad 
is thrown aside, and the owner, darting into the midst 
of the fray, seizes each by a horn, and turns them away 
in different directions. 

It has been said that the breed is kept remarkabl}" 
pure from any cross, but the irrepressible shorthorn has 
found advocates in that part of the district most in- 
fluenced by the demand for fat stock, viz., the neigh- 



258 FoiTou, 

Cattle, bonrliood of Cliolet. This is the great fatting district of 
Poitou, and the Parthenay cattle fatted here are known 
in Paris as Choletais. Thirty to forty thousand head of 
stock are fatted close round Cholet every year, and in 
the markets of that town 100,000 head of horned stock, 
150,000 to 200,000 head of sheep, and 25,000 to 30,000 
pigs are sold yearly. This shorthorn cross, however, 
makes no material progress ; at present the produce of 
the land is not sufl&ciently abundant, and if this difficulty 
were overcome, which would be quite possible, though 
probably at too great a cost, the local requirements are 
against a change : the farmers want working oxen, both 
for labour on the land and for delivering produce, which 
is taken to the ports and stations in heavy wagons drawn 
by six, eight, or ten oxen, and they keep at such work 
for a whole day as would knock up a shorthorn in haK 
an hour. The increased value of meat has brous^ht 
about an improvement in the treatment, and earlier 
maturity is obtained by careful selection of sires and 
better feeding : the oxen are no longer worked so hard 
as to become difficult to fatten, nor until so old as to 
become incapable of being turned into good meat. The 
result of the good feeding of the Parthenay cattle, 
necessary to maintain its high condition so as to obtain 
the maximum of advantage from the work, while keeping 
it in a proper state for rapid fattening, is that the gross 
and net produce per acre is superior to that of the short- 
horn in Maine, where reliance seems to be placed too 
much on the breed, and too little upon proper food. 
The market has also to be considered, and a shorthorn 



poiTOU. 259 

cross spoils the sale of a Parthenay ox ; tlie breed lias so battle. 
good a reputation on tlie Paris market, that it must be 
presented pure, or it will not make the full market value. 

The feeding at Cholet is performed by hand, from 
five in the morning until eight, when the stables are 
closely shut up until five in the evening ; the feeding 
begins again at five and continues until eight ; during 
the six hours the attendant gives such food as the cattle 
take to, beginning with good hay, varying it with 
mangold, cabbages, &c., alternately, as the animal seems 
inclined to take it. 

As all farm- work south of the Loire is done by oxen, 
as the climate does not readily permit the growth of 
rich food, as the breeds already in the country are good 
for work, and also for the butcher, as rapid maturity is 
not essential to profit, because the cattle are earning 
their keep while they are growing, the objection to the 
shorthorn cross is based on reason, and the river Loire 
may be considered the boundary beyond which this cross 
will not generally penetrate. 

Where green crops can be grown so as to make the 
rearing of cattle for meat a profitable speculation, 
workers will be kept separate, and cattle will be reared 
with a special object, and the rapidly-maturing short- 
horn will here, as elsewhere, find its place as the only 
"improving" breed; but this can hardly be upon the 
small farms of five, ten, or fifteen acres of this country, 
which have quite enough to do to feed the cattle already 
upon them — the farmers must content themselves with 
fostering the disposition to more early maturity, while 
R 2 



260 PoiTou. 

Cattle, they preserve tlie power in tlieir stock of doing tlie 
work required from them ; and carefully-tested experi- 
ments have shown that, of all the various breeds in 
Prance, that of Parthenay unites in the highest degree 
aptitude for work, quality of meat, and production of 
milk, and according to evidence gained by competitive 
trials, the Choletais breed gives less offal than any other. 

Pive hours a day of steady work is enough to pay 
for the keep of a bullock, but much more than this is 
got from those used in team-work ; an average-sized 
ox will easily do fifteen miles in eight hours, and some 
kinds will travel much faster. Down on the Landes, 
near Bordeaux, and in Spain, bullocks can do fifty miles 
in a day and a night, and will trot along for a con- 
siderable time as well as a good horse, without blowing. 

The great advance in the value of working oxen is 
keeping back the progress of the shorthorn : a good pair 
now (1875) sells for at least £55; three years ago they 
would not have made more than £36. 

Sheep. If Poitou lias a breed of cattle of which the country 
may be proud, as much cannot be said for the native 
sheep, which are about as bad as they can be. They 
have big heads and long necks, both quite bare ; the 
wool is coarse and curled, and seldom grows more than 
half-way down the body, none appearing on the belly 
or on the limbs, which are long and bouy — clearly 
a breed meant for walking far to get its food, which 
it does largely about the highways and hedges. The 
farms are so small that it can hardly be said that 



FOITOU. 



261 



there are any flocks ; but on tlie borders of Poiton, Sheep: 
in Yienne, which approaches central France, the 
great sheep -producing country, sheep enter more largely 
into farming, and they are more of the type found in 
Berri; and on the west, in the fens, the farms and 




POITOU SHEEP. 



flocks are also large. Here the sheep are big, great 
consumers of food, and more frequently than most sheep 
in France drop a couple of lambs ; a cross with the 
Leicester has been used with some success, but probably 
that with the Eomney Marsh would be more suitable. 



The common race of pigs is also bad, but large Pig'^ 
numbers are bought in Brittany and Maine, chiefly of 



262 PoiTOU. 

Pigs, the Craon breed, and fattened in Poitou, about Cholet. 
The English cross has been tried, but has ceased to be 
in favour. The cross improved the fatting powers, and 
there was less offal; the lean was acknowledged to be 
more tender, but there was too little of it, and the fat 
wasted in cooking. The firms in Nantes who salt large 
quantities of pork refuse pigs with an English cross ; 
they will buy only the Craon, whose ears are pendant, 
and any divergence on this point, which would be 
evidence of English blood, would interfere very much 
with the selling value. The English are considered also 
more delicate than the Craon, and when any disease is 
about they become unsaleable. This wasting of fat is 
probably owing to the food, and better judgment mil 
allow of prompt fattening properties being retained, 
without producing the sort of fat that runs away in 
grease. This result is already partially attained, and 
the cause of the objection to English blood is diminishing. 
Here, however, as elsewhere with other animals, the 
competition of the English has produced improvement 
in the local breed as resrards maturitv, and the Craon 
pigs are now brought fat to market at from eight to 
twelve months old. 

Hounds. Another animal, most unusual to find among those 
in a farmyard, comes into the ordinary stock of a 
Vendee farm, and that is the hound. They are reared 
on the small farms, and it is considered more profitable 
to rear a hound than a calf. They are sold at large 
fairs held on the second Mondays of May and July, and 



FOiTOU, 263 

will make from £4 to £6 at from six months to a year Hounds. 
old. The true Vendee breed is white with black- and- 
tan marks. They stand from twenty-five and a half to 
twenty-seven and a half inches high, their heads are 
clean, the ears not over long, the chest is deep, the 
loins arched, the tail fine, the ears and the palate are 
black, their nose is good, voice deep, and wind excel- 
lent ; they will keep on the scent for along time, and 
pick up a cold one. There are varieties in the breed, 
but the above qualities characterise each one. There 
is also a rough-haired breed, hardy and very powerful. 
The King of Italy supplies his kennel from La Yendee, 
and his agents are said to spend £300 to £400 yearly 
in this sort of farm produce. The chief packs in the 
country are those of the Count Carayon-Latour — which 
are called of the race of Yirelade — Viscount de la Besge, 
and M. de Gruipy. The Count de Canteleu has a fine 
pack of the rough breed in the department of the Eure, 
in Normandy. 

The horses in this district are not numerous, only Horses. 
one -third of the number on a similar area in ^Normandy 
and Brittany, and they are wholly reared for sale, the 
farm -work being done by oxen and by young mules. 
In the northern part they are bred in the fens. Turned 
out into the half-dried marshes in the spring, the dams 
and foals lie about in the mud, exposed to the storms 
and early frosts ; the grass is, however, so nourishing 
that they develop rapidly, and soon put on a good coat. 
They have a great similarity to the IS'orman carriage 



264 PoiTou. 

Horses and saddle horses, and, indeed, pass usually into tlie 
hands of Norman dealers at one or two years old, when 
they first taste oats, and take rank among Norman-bred 
horses without disgracing their adopted country. The 
best come from the fens of St. Gervais, and their 
superiority is said to be owing to the introduction, many 
years ago, of a good sire named " Amadis." So marked, 
indeed, is their superiority that when the wing of 
the French army, under Greneral Bourbaki, took refuge in 
Switzerland with 11,000 horses, some seventy or eighty 
were purchased by the Swiss authorities for sires, and 
a resident in Switzerland who had known this horse 
professes to have recognised without difficulty the type 
established by him. They have generally good heads, 
good fore-hands, are well ribbed up, and have an open 
foot, but their shoulders are too straight, and their chest 
is apt to be too narrow. 

Mules. The main destination of horses in Poitou is the 

breeding of mules ; out of 90,000 in the three depart- 
ments, 60,000 are mares, and of these 50,000 are so 
employed, 40,000 being given directly to Jackass sires, 
and 10,000 to sires of their own race, to keep up the 
supply of mares and sires necessary for the trade. Not 
more than half of the mares put to the Jackass produce 
foals, and taking into consideration the accidents that 
happen to those that are born, it may be estimated that 
18,000 mules are annually reared and sold in Poitou, 
Some of them make a high figure, as much as £60 being 
not uncommon, a considerable number make £40, but £24 



POiTOU. 265 

may be considered a fair average, at which estimate the Mules. 
large sum of nearly £450,000 is reached, paid to the 
Poitou breeders annually by outside buyers, for none of 
the mules of the full age of four years remain in the 
country; at the end of the season not a mule prepared 
for the market is unsold. The cost of rearing mules is 
very small ; the dams are poorly fed, and from the time 
of weaning up to the age at which the young mule pays 
for his keep, only ten or twelve months elapse ; there is 
no real outlay except for the three months during which 
he is prepared for market. The mule changes owners 
every year of his life until he is bought for service ; small 
farmers who do not breed buy the young mules and 
wean them, selling them again to other farmers who can 
work them, and they again sell them to dealers whose 
special business it is to fatten them up for sale. This 
preparation takes place in a close stable removed from 
any noise ; a stone tank of water provides drink always 
at the same temperature ; abundant and good food is 
given, air and light are both carefully excluded : neither 
can penetrate except during the short time the stable is 
cleaned out daily. Under this treatment the mules soon 
begin to sweat, and they continue bathed in perspira- 
tion : the air is so hot and so charged with vapour that 
the walls run down with moisture. A few days before 
the fairs they are taken out and walked for about three- 
quarters of an hour daily, and they are so changed as 
to be hardly recognisable. Lean, overworked, dull, 
when first put up, they are turned out as fat as bullocks, 
and from being dejected, docile, spiritless animals, they 



266 PoiTou, 

Mules. become bright and cheerful. It is difficult to believe tbat 
the dirty forlorn brute that was so recently dragging 
painfully at the plough can be the same animal, now 
decorated with a white leather bridle and bhnkers, his 
head reined back to a girdle, holding himself high, 
pawing the ground, and justifying his owner's bold 
demand of £40, at least, from the dealers of the south 
of France or Spain ; or if not up to the standard of these 
exacting buyers, then satisfying the more moderate 
requirements of the purchasers for the colonies, both 
French and English, or those from America. 

It might be supposed that such a treatment — a 
change so sudden from semi- starvation to high feeding, 
and from close stabling to exposure to open air, would 
be likely to produce disease, but no complaints on this 
head are ever heard ; and wliat is equally surprising, the 
animal so full of life and energy on his way to the fair, 
starting and snorting at every new object on the road, 
becomes quiet and calm when he joins some thousand or 
so of his companions, and allows the buyers to pass 
close to him, to examine his points without a kick 
from any one of the thousand. 

Marcs. It is a commonly-reccived opinion in Poitou that the 
local race of mares is adapted above all others for the 
breed of mules, but this opinion does not seem sustain- 
able ; and Mr. Sutherland, of Combe, near Croydon, to 
whom the British public is indebted for being able to 
see some of the best specimens of the Poitou ass and 
Poitou mule, has no doubt that a Clydesdale or a Suffolk 



poiTou, 267 

mare would produce a mule wliich would in every point Mares. 
of value "lick all tlie world." As the owners of Clydes- 
dale and Suffolk mares do not breed mules, being content 
to produce Clydesdale and Suffolk borses, we shall, until 
they change, probably have to go to Poitou for the finest 
animals of this race. 

This local race of horses stands from 15 hands 
to 15.3, and is heavy and coarse, the joints are large, 
and the chest broad, neck and shoulders thick, with 
much hair on the manes and tails, and about the heels. 
Most 'probably the breed was brought into the country 
by the Flemings, who drained the fens in the seven- 
teenth century, and the supposition receives confirmation 
from the fact that the best sires have been Flemish 
horses imported recently. There is a considerable 
mixture of Breton and Percheron blood, and the 
majority of Poitou mares have these crosses. The 
watery food of the marshes, and the soft ground, have 
modified their conformation : their organs of digestion 
have become larger, and their hoofs have spread. The 
breeders look much to these peculiarities, and they 
prefer a mare with a big head, heavy hmbs well clothed 
with hair, and a big stomach, to one of a better form, 
believing such a one more truly represents the type 
suitable for mule-breeding, and if she reaches sixteen 
hands she is considered nearly perfect. 

The same qualifications are sought for in the sires, 
but the birth of a colt-foal is considered a misfortune ; 
it is a filly that is desired, colts being useless in the 
country, and they are sold and sent away as soon 



268 ' poiTou: 

Mares. as they can be weaned. Tlie marsh-land farmers 
buy them, keep them during the summer, and resell 
them to dealers, in whose hands they are prepared 
for a final sale to those who work them in other parts 
of France. There is hardly such a thing as a colt a 
year and a half old on a farm in all Poitou, except 
those that are kept as sires. 

Jackass. ]g-^^ j^^q king of the country is the Jackass sire, for 
him are reserved all the honours of the breeding, on him 
are concentrated all the anxieties, the mares of both 
species being considered of secondary importance. From 
a strange fancy on the part of the breeders the donkey- 
mares are kept in a miserably poor condition, such being 
thought most conducive to the production of colt-foals. 
For a month before a foal is dropped the mare is never 
left alone, one of the family is by her side day and 
night. If a colt comes he is petted by every inhabitant 
of the farm ; the owner never quits him for a month, 
he guides him to his natural nourishment, feeds him 
with meal and milk if disposed to lie do^^Ti, and covers 
him with a woollen sheet when sleeping. At ten 
months old he is weaned, and from that moment he never 
leaves his box until sold. At the age of fifteen or eighteen 
months he is ready for sale to the keepers of depots 
for sires : an operation so serious that it is seldom con- 
cluded under twenty-four hours, sometimes double that 
time is occupied. Frequent examinations of the animals, 
alternating with copious meals, and still more copious 
drinks, long discussions as to his qualities and price, 




\' /'' I 1 ). 



poiTOU. 269 

do end at last, and when the buyer is satisfied as to Jackass. 
the qualities, and the seller agrees to the price, which 
will run from £120 for a common specimen up to 
over £300 for a really fine one, the subject of so 
much discussion is transferred to the possession of 
his new owner. His noble brow decorated with ribbons 
and crowned with laurels, he is placed in a cart covered 
with an awniug, and makes his triumphal entry into his 
new domain, having before him a life which will extend 
to twenty-five or thirty years, during the whole of which 
he will not walk as many miles. Kept in a close 
stable, standing in filth, and never groomed, he becomes 
really incapable of walking, is attacked by skin 
aftections and by chronic disease of the feet ; he does 
not seem, however, to transmit any of these complaints 
to his ofispring. 

As may be supposed, the Poitou ass is a very different 
animal from the English donkey. In height he stands 
from 13 hands 3 inches to 14 hands 3 inches. His 
head is enormous, his ears long and broad, generally 
drooping, and covered with long curly hair, a quality 
much noticed ; the neck is thick, the chest broad, the 
stomach voluminous, the fore arm long but narrow, the 
knees very big, as are all the joints, and the legs must 
have long hair, partly covering the hoof ; the haunches are 
flat, but the hocks as big as those of a heavy cart-horse ; 
the immense bone of the legs is something surprising 
in an animal whose body is so small, and whose mus- 
cular development is so very limited. 

There are as many as 160 depots for donkey-sires in 



270 poiTOU. 

Jackass. 'P(^^I^Q^^ but they frequently entail loss npon their pro- 
prietors, and are seldom really profitable, especially if 
it is considered how much personal supervision is re- 
quired. It may seem surprising that so many should 
follow an occupation so little advantageous, but these 
depots are usually attached to large farms, where ako 
mules are bred, and the possession of a sire of renown 
gives the owner a consideration in the country which is 
not without its influence. They have, besides, commonly 
descended from father to son as a kind of family pro- 
perty, in keeping up which there is a sort of pride. 



BEEEI AND SOLOGNE. 



''SoLOGNE. Poverty and misery pervade the whole ; agriculture 
is at its lowest ebb, and yet everywhere it is capable of being made 
rich and flourishing. 

" Berri. In passing from the " triste " Sologne into this province 
the soil improves, and with it the products, but continue, however, 
very moderate, and far inferior to what they ought to be." — Arthur 
Young, 1788. 

" No part of France has made greater progress than Sologne since 
1815. 

"Berri. The use of lime, marl, guano, draining, artificial 
grasses, improvement in the breeds of cattle, are rapidly extending." 
— Leonge de Lavergne, 1866. 



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BERRl AND SOLOGNE. 273 

A vast plain of 4, 500,000 acres, sloping gently towards 
the west, with some hills of moderate elevation filling 
np the bend of the Loire between Nevers and Blois, 
containing some of the poorest land in Prance, if barren 
mountains be excepted, poor in itself, and its poverty not 
relieved by any important manufactures, nor by traffic, 
nor by commerce, forms the old province of Berri, and 
the district called the Sologne. Including towns and 
villages, there is not one inhabitant to every six acres, 
and the taxes per head levied in the district are less 
than one-sixth of the amount of those paid in the north- 
west. There is only one town of over 20,000 inha- 
bitants, two exceed 10,000 each, three more average 
about 8,000, and of the few others sparsely spread 
about the country none get up to 5,000. The rural 
population form four-fifths of the whole. 

Of these 4,500,000 acres 1,000,000 is the ''dull and Soiognc. 
melancholy " Sologne, between the Loire and the Cher, 
and composed of portions of the departments of Loiret, 
Loire-et-Cher, and Cher. The soil is a stiff, unkindly 
clay, the surface-soil being a thin layer of poor sand, 
gravel, and flints, wet and sodden all the winter, burnt 
up in summer. Innumerable ponds and marshes keep 
the inhabitants — of whom, however, there are only 
about 80,000 on the whole 1,000,000 acres — in a state 
of chronic fever. So numerous are these ponds that on 
the map they seem almost to touch each other ; in the 
portion of Loiret alone there are 800, covering 10,000 
acres, and in the district of Romorantin there are 1,000. 



274 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

In spite of its miserable crops of rye and potatoes, 
and its wretched inhabitants, tliis country is not without 
a certain wild charm. In summer the air is musical 
with the humming of millions of bees, hives of which 
are brought from the neighbouring departments to feed 
on the flowers of the heather and buckwheat ; and the 
ponds are alive with waterfowl — in summer with those 
that come to breed, and in winter with those that leave 
their breeding- stations in colder chmates. 

That Sologne was at one time in a very different state 
is shown by the existence of many large and noble chateaux, 
some now in ruin, some in a more perfect condition of 
repair and furnishing than at any previous date, and 
by the traces of cultivation where none now exists. 
Chambord, being the creation of a royal whim, is no 
proof of local wealth ; the same may be said of Chau- 
mont. The former, though unoccupied for more than a 
century, stands as an evidence of good construction ; and 
the latter, perfectly restored and nobly furnished, has 
just (1875) been purchased for £60,000, and offered as a 
wedding gift by a young bride to her fortunate husband, 
the Prince Amadee de Broglie. But La Ferte St, 
Aubin, Cheverny, Beauregard, Yalencay, princely resi- 
dences, and many others, may be accepted as proofs 
that there was once local wealth in a country now so 
impoverished. Cheverny, built in the stately style of 
the seventeenth century, and Yalencay in the brilliant 
one of the sixteenth, have few rivals in Europe ; royal 
apartments, guard-rooms, theatre, chapel, are all in as 
perfect condition as when kings honoured their owners 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 275 

with a visit. Yalen^ay has twenty-five public reception- 
rooms ; and the surroundings of both are in conformity 
with their own pretensions ; Cheverny is approached by 
an avenue of ancient trees four miles long, and Yalen9ay 
is surrounded by its domain of 50,000 acres. 

The 17,000 acres of forest at Chambord and Bussy, 
and the scattered remains of other forests, containing fine 
trees of oak, beech, and chestnut, give here and there some 
idea of what the whole country must have been formerly, 
though the soil can hardly ever have been productive. 

The attraction which made this country a favourite 
residence of the kings and nobles of France down to the 
reign of Henry lY., was doubtless the abundance of 
game of all kinds which found a congenial home in the 
wide forests, the underwood, bushes, meres, and streams. 
'' Sologne," says an old author, '' abounded in all kinds 
of game, and provided every species of hunting." 

The old province of Berri, now the departments of Beiri. 
the Indre and the Cher, was always more fertile and 
prosperous than Sologne, and not so poorly populated, 
and a considerable portion of it might, with good culti- 
vation, become as fertile as most other parts of France. 
Berri is in the very heart of France, the town of St. 
Amand having been, before recent changes, the geome- 
trical centre of the country. In the time of the English 
occupation in the fifteenth century the spark of national 
sovereignty was kept alive here, and Charles YII. was 
derisively called the King of Bourges, the capital ; the 
wreck of the State of Napoleon found here a momentary 
s 2 



276 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

rest after the disasters of 1814; and here are estab- 
lished the artillery depots since the loss of Metz : they 
cover 800 acres. Berri retains more of the charac- 
teristics of old France than any other province ; dis- 
tinct from the France of Brittany, Flanders, Provence, 
Burgundy, or Languedoc, and distinct from France as 
changed by the active life of politics and revolutions. 

" Away from those points most traversed by the rail- 
ways, the towns have retained the calm and peaceful tone, 
and the inhabitants the manners, language, and accent 
of the seventeenth century; the country still resembles 
the immortal portrait drawn by La Fontaine of France, 
in his time. The shepherd still walks before his flock ; 
the housewife spins from her distaff; the woodman 
plods home under a canopy of faggots ; the horse and 
the ox now, as then, feed in the half-reclaimed pasture ; 
wild and cultivated nature are still side by side ; the 
heron immovable on the banks of streams ; the hare and 
the frog ; the rabbit and the weasel ; the fox watching 
for poultry ; and the wolf carrying off the lamb. This 
world, half desert, half cultivated, which lives and which 
speaks m the imagination of the fabulist, has lost 
nothinsr of its old character. The furtive interview of 
the wolf and the mastiff might be looked for at the 
corner of a lield or a covert, and in the wind which 
moans through the woods and breathes through the 
rushes, it is easy to imagine the oak and the reed 
Jiolding converse." {Laver(/ne.) 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 277 

The refeious wars of the sixteenth century, and those i^eiigious 

^ ^ ^ ^ Wars. 

of the Fronde in the seventeenth, ruined Sologne and 
Berri, as, indeed, they similarly affected other parts of 
France. Authentic records, the account of rents 
received for their estates hy puhlic institutions, such as 
hospitals, show that on the cessation of the English 
wars in the fifteenth century, the value of land rose 
rapidly, so that in 1550 rents were as high as they were 
in 1840. The fall was rapid, and the value at its lowest 
in the early part of the reign of Louis XIV., and the 
recovery slow, as it was not before 1830 that an impor- 
tant increase was obtained. The original leases of six 
farms belonging to one hospital are still in existence, 
and they show that the land, consisting in the whole of 
175 acres, let, in 1510, for £72 ; in 1550, for £104 ; in 
1620, for £28 15s.; in 1720, £37 2s. 6d. ; in 1800, 
£43 4s. ; in 1830, £58 Ss. ; in 1856, £131 4s. At the 
present moment the value is considerably more than it 
was in 1856. Further details upon this interesting 
question may be found in the debates and discussions 
raised at the time the government of Napoleon III. 
wished to induce the hospitals to sell their lands and 
invest the proceeds in public stocks. m' 

The religious wars began in 1562 and ended in 1595, 
on the accession of Henry IV. ; thirty years of almost 
continual fighting, occasionally stopped from time to 
time by arrangements between the contending parties, 
dignified by the names of treaties of peace, seemingly 
securing, in a more or less satisfactory manner, freedom 
of worship, but never really doing so. During these 



278 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Eeiigious thirty years tliere were eiglit sucli accommodations, and 
at each rupture tlie passions of both, sides showed 
renewed ferocity. 

They were rightly enough called religions wars, as 
Catholics fought on one side and Protestants on the other, 
but they were kept alive as much by the rivalry of the 
two houses of Guise and Bourbon as by the religious 
sentiment. Berri and Sologne suffered more from them 
than other parts of France. The family of Coligny 
had large possessions in Berri ; Calvin preached and 
had many followers at Bourges ; Benee, Duchess of 
Ferrara, who favoured Protestantism, lived at Montargis, 
so that Protestantism had spread much in the country. 
It was at Amboise, on the borders, that the Protestant 
conspiracy, headed by La Benaudie, was crushed, when 
1,200 gentlemen of family were hanged, and the execu- 
tions were witnessed by the king, and took place after 
dinner, for the "delectation of the ladies." Bourges 
was sacked and ruined ; every town and every castle was 
besieged and taken, most of them many times, and each 
time the garrison and the j)eople were massacred. Men 
had become so used to bloodshed that it seemed to be a 
positive enjoyment to them to put their fellow-creatures 
to death with as much torture, and as many of them, as 
possible ; it was the centurj^ of assassination. St. Bar- 
tholomew was, only on a larger scale, an example of 
what was done commonly through the country. 
Castelnau says that during fifteen years of the civil 
wars more than 1,000,000 people perished, under the 
pretext of religion and the public good. One captain 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 279 

tortured to deatli 770 men, 460 women, and 24 children. Religious 
The Baron des Adrets, when fighting on the Protestant ' ' 
side, threw his prisoners ont of the windows or hung 
them by their feet. As some clung to the bars he cut 
the fingers off 200 of them ; this was after capitulation. 
He reserved thirty at Montbrison, and made them throw 
themselves over a precipice on the top of which he had 
his table laid. One prisoner made two or three starts^ 
and his heart failed him. Des Adrets asked him how 
many attempts he meant to make, when the man said^, 
'' 111 bet you don't do it in ten times," and saved his 
life by the remark. 

" Agriculture, formerly better understood in France 
than in any other kingdom, was abandoned, and towns 
and villages innumerable sacked, burnt, and pillaged, 
became deserts, and the poor labourers, driven from 
their houses, plundered of their goods and cattle, ran- 
somed, and robbed, to-day by those of one religion and 
party, to-morrow by the other, fled like wild beasts^ 
leaving all they had, and being at the mercy of men 
who had no pity. The labour of 400 years was destroyed 
in a day." 

But the wars of the Fronde in the early years of J^^® , 

•^ "^ Fronde. 

the reign of Louis XIY. were the most injurious. They 
only lasted ^n^ years, from 1648 to 1653, but at the 
end of that period the whole country seemed waste. 
Towns, formerly populous and wealthy, were burnt and 
destroyed ; their manufactures gone ; part of the popu- 
lation living like beasts in the woods. Land, which on 



280 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

The tlie accession of Henry II., in 1547, bore crops of wheat, 

was so impoverislied by tbe middle of the seventeenth cen- 
tury that it could grow but poor crops of rye. Hents fell 
from 12s. 6d. per acre to 3s. 6d., and had only recovered 
to 4s. 7d. a hundred years afterwards. In Berri and 
the adjoining provinces, there were many parishes in 
which from 1650 to 1653 there were no marriages at 
all, the births only half the usual number, while the 
deaths were double, triple, and even five times the 
ordinary amount. The people were " worn, dry, li^dd 
spectres, as pale as death." There were whole parishes 
in Berri in which bread could not be found in ten 
houses; villages of two hundred houses "where you 
could not find bread in two, and such bread as could be 
found was made largely of walnut-shelLs ; families living 
for weeks without seeing bread, eating roots and herbs, 
boiled with some remains of dead animals, often dug up, 
and putrid. In the fields and under hedges were people 
covered with vermin, crawling like beasts to seek some 
nourishment from wild roots ; the sick so crowded 
together that among eight or ten in one bed, only one 
would be found alive ; in one place 800 sick piled almost 
one upon another. In more than one parish there is a 
return 'No more inhabitants.'" 

In addition to the above short statement of the 
results of war must be noted the horrors of the wars 
themselves : armies marching about the country living 
on the miserable inhabitants, destroyiDg, parth' from 
necessity, partly from mere wantonness, every living 
thing and every article of food, and the means of 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 281 

producing it \ burning farm-buildings ; torturing tbe The 
inhabitants to discoyer bidden treasure wbicb generally 
did not exist ; burning villages and towns wben an 
impossible ransom was not forthcoming. Callot's 
contemporary etchings of "Les Miser es de la Guerre" 
are no mere fancy sketches ; they were drawn from 
actual scenes he witnessed. Many of these armies were 
composed of foreigners, such as Poles and Germans, and 
the names of their leaders have become incorporated in 
the French language as representative of brutal and 
cruel force. These armies, whether employed by the 
king or the revolted princes, were seldom paid, and they 
had but the choice to rob or starve. Many towns were 
so depopulated that they have not recovered to this day. 
Issoudun had 700 houses burnt. Michelet well describes 
this period : "A mortal cold seized every one ; no more 
men, not even any dead — a wide desert." 

This terrible description is applicable to a large part 
of France, but Berri and Sologne seemed to have suffered 
most, or to have recovered more slowly — not, indeed, even 
to have recovered yet. It was a great loss to this 
country when the Court abandoned the banks of the 
Loire, in the reign of Henry I Y. ; and the destruction of 
the forests, sold to meet the expenses of the nobles at 
the court of Louis XIY., consummated the ruin. In 
1700 Berri and Sologne were the most miserable pro- 
vinces in France :. they made no improvement during the 
eighteenth century ; they got worse during the revolu- 
tionary period, and have only begun to improve since 
1830. 



282 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Improve- ^ better future is developins: itself. The old attrac- 

ment. -A- o 

tion of sport is bringing back wealthy residents ; old 
chateaux are restored, new ones have been built. '' In 
the midst of these uncultivated wilds, five or six hours 
from Paris, the middle ages seem to revive ; stags and 
other large game, which are disappearing everywhere 
else, are preserved and increase ; the sound of the 
horn and all the rattle of the chase is heard as in the 
time of Francis I." {Laver^ne.) 

The attraction of wealth to the country by facilities 
for sporting is good, but its attraction by the prospects 
of profitable investment in agricultural improvements is 
better, and much has been done of late years in this 
direction. Many strangers, tempted by the opportunity 
of obtaining large tracts of land for little money, have 
bought estates, which they seem able to do at the rate 
of about £5 per acre freehold, the upset price at auction 
sales being frequently £4 10s. per acre, and sometimes 
the land is not sold when ofiered at that price. IN^o part 
of France has received so much attention from authori- 
ties of all kinds as Sologne, during the last twenty-five 
years. A canal has been cut across the country, draining 
many ponds and marshes, and supplying water for irri- 
gation, and bringing lime and marl to the stiff land. 
A railroad, which covenants as the price of its concession 
to bring these fertilisers at a cheap rate, has been con- 
structed. The late emperor purchased a large estate at 
La Motte Beuvron, of about 8,000 acres, formerly the 
property of the Dukes de Duras, upon which experi- 
mental improvements have Been made. The probable 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 283 

farming value of the soil is judged by the presence of 
^N% plants — viz., three kinds of heath — Tlrica scop aria ^ 
U. vulgaris, and E. cinerea; one kind of furze — the 
dwarf, Uleic manus; and the common broom, Genista 
vulgaris. The land on which the first grows is con- 
sidered to have staple enough for wheat ; that on which 
the second grows is only really profitable for pasture, but 
the ease with which it can be broken up often tempts 
this outlay, which rarely pays ; that on which the third 
kind grows is useless for any purpose whatever. The 
land growing the dwarf furze, if it also grows the first 
kind of heath, is the best for bringing under cultivation, 
as it has some sand mixed with the hard clay; that 
which grows the broom is the lightest of all, and, 
working very easily, is cultivated by smail freeholders, 
but the crops grown are never good. 

In one corner of Berri is a larere tract of miserable If' 

^ Brenne. 

country, 250,000 acres, called La Brenne, or the little 
Sologne. A stiff, greasy subsoil has induced the system 
of cultivation by artificial ponds. It is a country of 
immense, wide, dreary plains, level, but with a slight 
slope, so that it is easy to construct dams to keep back- 
the water. The ponds are drained and cropped ever}^ 
three or four years. This system renders the locality 
very unhealthy, and there are but 20,000 inhabitants in 
the whole district. 

Unpromising as may appear the probability of con- 
verting such land into a profitable occupation, it has been 
attempted, and has succeeded. In 1847 M. Crombez, a 



284 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Belgian, bought about 20,000 acres, tbe estate of 
Lacosme, in tlie commune of Yendoeuvres, about fifteen 
miles from Chateauroux. '' Poor cultivation, miserable 
inhabitants/' said Arthur Young, in 1787, and the saying 
was true up to thirty years ago. The ponds covered 
more than one -third of the country ; the other two-thirds 
consisted of land that was practically uncultivated. 
The commune of Yandoeuvres, nearly 25,000 acres, had 
1,100 inhabitants. Marsh fevers were prevalent, and 
the deaths were more than the births. By clearing 
the watercourses, draining the ponds, and planting, the 
face of the country has been wholly changed. Thirty- 
six ponds, covering nearly 4,000 acres, have been brought 
under cultivation ; 12,000 acres are planted, chiefly with 
oak and fir; 2,500 acres are farmed ; beet-root is grown, 
and a distillery is at work. There is ironstone on the 
estate, and a foundry has been established, the fuel being 
supplied by the plantations, and good roads are main- 
tained across the whole district. There are now 2,200 
inhabitants, and 390 children attend the schools. 

Properties. Tliis is a couutry of large properties. Nowhere in 
France are there so many great ones. The largest of 
all is that of Yalengay, which belongs to the heirs of 
Talleyrand. It consists of 50,000 acres, and covers 
twenty -seven parishes. At the end of the last centurj^ 
and the beginning of the present one, it was greatly 
neglected. The magnificent residence, occupied by the 
king of Spain wdien removed to France by Napoleon, 
was very dilapidated. The forests were uncared for, and 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 285 

the land out of order, almost untilled. Talleyrand 
entirely renovated the mansion, and it is now one of the 
finest specimens of a fortified residence, richly decorated. 
Half the estate is in woods, and the 25,000 acres bring 
in £8,000 per annum. The farming land is divided into 
forty-eight farms, of about 500 acres each, and they are 
carefully farmed ; but this apparently magnificent pro- 
perty dwindles much when represented in money value, 
as the land does not let on an average for so much as 
10s. per acre, much of it for only 5s. 

Other estates in Berri — such as those belonging to 
the Due de Mortemart and the Prince de Chalais — are 
nearly as large as Yalencay. The Due de Maille, the 
Prince d'Aremberg, the Marquis de Vogue — all of 
whom take a great personal interest in the management 
of land — are very large landowners ; and there are 
certainly 100 estates in Berri over 3,000 acres in 
extent. 

As the properties are large, so are the holdings on Holdings. 
the open high lands where the soil is very stiff; but 
they are small in the valleys and by the sides of the 
rivers. In the former much artificial grass is grown, 
and there are large flocks of sheep, and the farm-work 
is generally done by horses ; in the latter, the country 
is certainly far more picturesque, but worse farmed. 
Oxen drag, in a dawdling fashion, a primitive plough 
through poor land. Nowhere in Berri is the corn- 
farming good : an average of two quarters to the acre 
tells its own tale ; but even this is an advance, as much 



286 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

of tlie land now growing wheat produced, until recently, 
only miserable crops of rye. 

Planting: Every sclieme for tlie improvement of Sologne has 

planting for its basis. Half the land ought to be 
planted ; it pays in itself, and leaves the capital and the 
energies of the farmer to be applied to that part of the 
land which is best worth farming. 

Chevemy. The two examples of estate management here that 
are the most quoted, are those of the Marquis de 
Yibraye, at Cour Chevemy, near Blois, and that of 
M. de Behague, at Dampierre, near Gien. Cheverny 
consists of 7,500 acres; 2,000 have been planted, and 
the rest brought into cultivation by great outlay. It 
. is called, perhaps with some exaggeration, the most 
colossal work which has been accomplished on French 
soil in this generation. 

Dam- Dampierre now consists of 5,000 acres. In 1S26, 

pierre. 

when M. de Behague j)urchased the property, there were 
2,600 acres divided into seventeen miserable farms, the 
inhabitants being continually struck down by fever : 
450 acres were old w^oods. More than half the property 
was so poor that no cultivation paid. The 2,600 acres 
cost, including expenses of title, £28,000 ; half of it 
cost £16 15s. per acre, and the other half only £1 6s. 
The value of the timber caused the high price of the 
one half. The rent was £460 per annum, or only about 
IJ per cent, on the investment, about 3s. 6d. per acre. 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 287 

Later piircliases liave increased tlie domain to 4,800 
acres, at a total cost of £50,000 ; the rent is £3,200, or 
nearly 14s. per acre, including tlie woods and tlie water 
— nearly 1\ per cent, on tlie investment. Lands of 
adjoining owners are at tliis moment let in some cases 
as low as Is. 8d. per acre ! , 

M. de Behague commenced boldly with, tlie earliest 
stage of land improvement ; lie planted 2,700 acres, 
cliiefly with pines. This planting cost, including the 
freehold and all expenses, £4 10s. per acre; it now 
brings in £1 per acre, and the land is improving. 
There were eighteen large ponds ; there are now but 
three, but they still cover 380 acres; the farms are 
reduced to three, in all about 1,400 acres ; lime-ldlns 
have been built, brick-and-tile-yards established, cottages 
constructed, and the whole country rendered wholesome ; 
and all with a due regard to profit. There has been no 
fancy farming; M. de Behague's book-keeping shows 
that the undertaking to which he has consecrated his 
life has resulted in a business-like return for the. outlay 
incurred, as it has assuredly earned for him the respect 
of his neighbours and the thanks of his country, for 
showing that judicious improvement can be made 
profitable. 

M. de Behague has tried the shorthorn stock, but 
has had to give them up. He works his farm with 
oxen, for a long time using those of the Limousin breed, 
but has now decided upon the Charolais as being real 
good workers, and more readily made fit for the butcher 
than the Limousin. His sheep are a small breed — a 



288 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

cross between tlie Berri and the Southdown ; and it is 
to liis sheep that the success of his farming operations 
is mainly due. 

The example set by the Marquis de Yibraye and M. 
de Behague has been largely followed throughout this 
country/both as regards cultivation and the restoration 
of buildings, if not always upon the same scale, or 
with the same success, yet with great advantage to the 
land. 

Topuia- The population is small, only three-quarters of a 

million on 4,500,000 acres, less than seventy-three to 
the square mile, and is classed as rather more than 
three-fourths rural and one-fourth urban ; but this urban 
population is so intimately associated with country 
occupations that only a small proportion can be con- 
sidered as really influenced by the conditions of a town 
life. The decrease shown in the last census as compared 
with the previous one is 1'29, exactly the average of 
that of France. 

Education. Education is very low ; in Indre et Loire, the true 
Berri, the proportion of those above six years of age who 
can neither read nor write is 57 per cent., almost the 
highest in France. 

Green 'j'j^g pfreat difiicultv to be overcome in the hot and 

Maize. & J 

dry region of central France has been the obtaining 
enough food for horned stock. Sheep have always 
been the mainstay of farming here, and they are largely 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE, ^ 289 

sold as store sheep, tliougli a good number are fattened 
in tlie country ; but cattle have been kept almost solely 
to do the farming- work. To be made ready for the 
butcher they had to be sold to farmers whose land was 
more productive. 

The introduction of fertilisers has enabled fodder to 
be grown, grass lands have improved, and clovers, 
lucerne, cabbage, tares, and maize cut green have been 
introduced, but no roots have succeeded ; it therefore 
happened that in wet seasons a farmer would have food 
enough for 100 head of cattle, and in dry ones not 
enough for twenty, and in all seasons he would be short 
of winter food. 

A species of giant maize, called Caragua, has lately Maize, 
been introduced, which promises to do for central France 
what turnips and mangold do for England, and sugar- 
beet for the north of France. The earlier species of 
maize, sown in the end of April or beginning of May, 
easily grows to six feet in height by the middle or end • 
of July ; sown once a fortnight it gives a good supply 
of nourishing green food from May until the end of 
October ; it is greatly liked by all cattle. The caragua, 
sown from the 10th to the 20th of May, or even later, 
after the first cutting of rye, is used as green food from 
August until the frosts come. It grows rapidly, 
except during the greatest heats, and attains the height 
of from nine to twelve feet in four or five months ; it 
has reached fifteen feet. Sown in drills about half a yard 
apart, it can be hoed, and has the efiect of a cleansing 
crop, but the stalks are woody, and must be cut in a 

T 



290 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Maize, cliaff-cutter ; the crop is, however, very heavy ; sown in 
drills a foot apart the yield is less, but the stalks are 
more tender, and the land cannot be kept clean. It pays 
better, probably, to sow thick, as the hand-labonr of 
hoeing is expensive. 

A system has lately been introduced, and is becoming 
general, of storing green maize in pits, sometimes cut 
fine and mixed with one-fifth of its volume of cliafi*, 
sometimes laid out straight without being cut, but in 
either case well protected from the air and frost by 
straw, and a layer of sand or earth a foot and a half thick, 
or, better still, with a covering of boards weighted with 
stones. It cuts out quite fresh after fermentation, and 
all stock relish it much, and farmers who have hitherto 
had no supply of green food in the heat of summer, or 
during winter, can now put up as much as they want. 
This maize is very easy to grow ; it can be continued 
for three years consecutively on the same ground, re- 
quires very little labour, and one of its warm advocates, 
M. Gofiart, declares that, with its assistance, he keeps 
from twenty-eight to thirty head of cattle the whole 
year round off" the produce of fifteen acres of such land 
as would formerly only carry a few sheep. He has had 
as much as sixty tons per acre. This year (1874) he had 
forty-eight tons. He fed his stock from the 15th of 
April to the 1 5tli of June with rye cut green, from the 
15th of June to the 1st of September partly on meadows, 
but chiefly upon rye cut green and preserved in pits ; 
from the 1st of September to the 15th of December upon 
maize cut green, or ])reserved, and from the 15 th of 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. * 291 

December to the 1 5tli of April wholly upon the maize Maiz 
taken from the pits, so that the animals have been fed 
almost entirely upon the two plants — rye and maize — 
most suitable to the land and climate of Sologne. At 
the time of writing (August, 1875) he has 250 tons of 
maize chopped up and preserved in pits. Each head of 
stock consumes 120 lbs. daily. The cost of the maize, 
for cutting in the field, delivery in the pits, chopping by 
means of a steam-engine of five-horse power, and pressing 
down, is not more than lOd. and lid. per ton. A certain 
quantity of rye-straw is mixed with the maize, more or 
less, according to the amount of moisture in the maize, 
but never more than a fifth. 

In 1876 M. GofPart had 174 acres of maize, from 
which he cut thirty tons per acre in October, the maize 
having been sown between the 1st and 15th of July. 
The machine cuts it in pieces of less than one inch in 
length at the rate of li cwt. per minute. It pours out 
like a cascade ; three men have hard work to keep the 
machine fed. The cut maize is carried by a kind of 
Jacob's ladder to the pit, where it is spread and trodden 
down by a man and woman. Four one-horse carts bring 
the maize to the machine, and they make a hundred 
trips in the day. It takes eight days to clear the lot. 
Salt to the extent of 2 lbs. to the ton is gradually mixed 
with it. One ton of this mixture when taken from the 
pit costs 4s. at the outside. A cow in milk eats 65 lbs. 
at a meal ; the ration, therefore, costs about lid. A 
head of stock eat 12i tons per annum, which is produced 
upon half an acre. 
T 2 



292 ^ BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Maize. ^\iQ best crops of maize are from tlie land which has 
produced the rye cut green in the spring ; the rye is 
manured in the autumn with twelve tons of farmyard 
manure per acre, and has a supplementary dressing in 
the spring of 1 cwt. of superphosphate, and W cwt. of 
sulphate of ammonia. 

The rye gives from six to eight tons pea' acre ; the 
maize sown after the rye receives no additional manure, 
and if wheat follows maize the same season no more 
manure is given to it. When placed in pits some salt is 
added at the bottom and round the sides, and especially 
at the top, at the rate of about Gibs, of salt to a ton of 
maize. As the mass sinks, the cracks formed in the 
covering are trodden down every morning. When the 
process of fermentation is complete no further sinking 
takes place, and no more attention is required, nor is 
there any danger of a second fermentation setting up. 
Once a week sufficient of the heap is uncovered to last 
for the week's consumption, care being taken not to 
give any to the cattle with the frost upon it. The 
treatment as to feeding varies, of course ; some farmers 
consider it essential that a certain portion of dry food 
should be given with the fermented maize, and they 
give about 1011)s. of hay and 40 lbs. of maize to each 
head. Count Eoederer ^kept 130 head of cattle during 
six weeks, in January and February, 1875, with 100 
cubic yards of this preserved maize. 

The growth has extended so much, that whereas 
two years ago five tons of seed met the demand from 
the farmers, this year (1876) 500 tons have been sold. 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE, 293 

For small farmers a hand machine is madf^, costing 
£10 10s., which cuts 40 tons of green maize and 10 
tons of straw mixed, in three days, with four men, who 
work the handle by turns. They do more than \\ tons 
per hour. 

This system of storing forage in pits is extending to Trifolium, 
green food that comes early, which is then available 
during the summer, when all pastures are burnt up. 
Trifolium alone, or mixed with rye, is cut at the end of 
May or early in June, packed immediately very close in 
pits. It is piled up a yard and a half above the ground, 
and in the course of a single day sinks a yard, and at 
the end of three or four days is on a level Avith the soil. 
A layer of straw is placed round the mass, to absorb the 
condensation of the moisture, and the cracks formed by 
the sinking are kept filled up. When no more green 
food is to be had the pits are opened, usually early in 
August. The straw is found to be in a state of complete 
putrefaction. \ A thin layer of about half an inch of the 
trifolium is quite white : this is removed, and under it is 
the mass which has undergone ferm.entation. The 
colour of the stalk is a greenish yellow, the leaves are 
perfect, and have retained their green colour ; the flower, 
which was red at the time of pitting, turns violet, and 
there is a strong odour of alcohol. All cattle like it 
much. Trifolium is most suitable to be used in this 
way, as it comes early, produces largely, and does not 
make good dry fodder. This season (1875), when the 
weather was so bad for getting in the hay, the trifolium 



294 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE, 



Trifoiiuir. from the pits is much better than the clovers stacked in 
the usual manner. The diminution in volume is con- 
siderable, one-fifth of fermented food only being cut out 
from the green quantity put in. A more perfect system 
of pressure would, it is thought, reduce this loss to 
three-fourths, and this more perfect system of pressure 




BERRI SHEEP, AVITH TROBABLY A LEICESTER CROSS. 



is obtained by the use of brick pits and heavy weights 
on the top of the mass. 

Sheep. The glory of Berri for ages past has been its sheep. 
From the time of the Romans up to that of the adoption 
of the merino, Berri produced a large part of the wool of 
France. The arms of Bourges, the capital — azure, three 
rams argent, with a shepherd and shepherdess as sup- 
porters — bear witness to the pride with which the 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 



295 



inhabitants regarded their chief production. Berri still Shoep. 
sends 200,000 sheep yearly to the Paris market, and in 
numbers nearly equals the rich departments of Aisne 
and Oise, but falls far below these in the size and value 
of the animals ; all the country, indeed, north of the 
Loire can bear heavier sheep than Berri, but none can 







't^^- A^wf jf/'di'r^ ^^^-"V:^ 




gmwC^-^^^i'^;ef^^ 



BERRICHON-CIIEVANT SHEEP. 



rear them so cheaply. In Berri improvement has made 
but slow progress : most of the farmers abide by the 
native race, crossed in increasing numbers by South - 
downs, Kents, or Leicesters, while a smaller number 
have a cross of merinos ; whereas in the north the 
breeding-flocks are crossed or pure merinos. There 
will probably be no absolute substitution of one breed 
for another in Berri, but the old breed, in its present 
imperfection, is doomed to extinction, and the factor 
will probably be the Southdown. As long as wool was 



296 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

Sheep. ^]^g principal object sought in tlie growth of sheep, 
merinos had almost exclusive favour, but now that meat 
has risen so much in value, and wool has fallen, the 
tendency is to seek early maturity, and this is found 
best in the Southdown, v/ith which the native sheep 
seem to have some affinity. Arthur Young noticed this, 
and says it is of great consequence to have a breed not too 
large, and well clothed with a short firm fleece, rather 
than larger and more expensive breeds. Feeding has 
as much to do with improvement in sheep as the 
selection of race, and it is of no use trying to get larger 
sheep until the land can produce abundantly what will 
support them. Where the land is poor, and nourishing 
plants are rare, as in Berri and Sologne, large-framed 
sheep would starve. There the native breed, acknow- 
ledged to produce good wool and excellent -flavoured 
meat, is the most profitable, to be improved by crossing 
with Southdown. These small sheep can be reared, at a 
very light expense, until they are a 3^ear or eighteen 
months old, upon sheep-runs hired at a small cost by 
breeders who cannot fatten them, but sell them to 
farmers in the north, who make a trade of fattening 
stock, but never breed, and who like the cross of the 
Southdown-Berrichon, because it costs but little money, 
fattens easily, and meets with a prompt sale. If fat- 
tened at home these sheep can be sent to market at ten 
to eleven months old, giving fifty to sixty lbs. of clean 
dead meat. M. de Behague sends thirty to fort}' to 
market at a time at this age, which give sixty lbs. of 
dead meat, from a cross with a Berri ewe and a South- 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE, 



297 



down ram. His sheep, however, are above the average : siieei?. 
the ordinary weight is from forty-five to fifty lbs. of 
dead meat, and the price from 9d. to lOd. per lb., the 
offal paying the expenses. The mutton from the Berri 




CHARMOISE. 



sheep makes as good a price as any in the Paris market ; 
and '' Gigot roti de mouton de M. de Behague " figures 
proudly in the menu of the table d'hote at the Hotel du 
Louvre, and elsewhere. 

On the borders of the Sologne, but north of the 
Loire, is the establishment of M. Nouette Delorme, 
one of the largest and most successful breeders of 
Southdowns in France. From this flock drafts are 



298 BERRT AND SOLOGNE, 

Sheep, made frequently, which, go to improve the local hreed, 
and within the limits of Sologne, at La Charmoise, 
M. Malingie has crossed the native sheep with the 
Kent and has succeeded in producing a sheep honoured 
in the shows as a distinct breed, and called La Char- 
moise. It is a most successful cross, but still only a 
cross, animals in the same pen showing some distinctly 
the Kent type, and others the Solognot ; they are, how- 
ever, right good sheep, and are much used through the 
country. 

Cattle. Sologne and Berri have very few cattle, and those 
few are not good; but they are as good as the land will 
support. They are very similar to the Parthenay and 
Limousin breed, and do most of the work of the farm. 
They are bad milkers, giving only about 250 quarts in 
the year, while good cows, in a good district, will give 
four times as much. They do very well upon the food 
they get, whereas better stock would starve. They give 
milk enough to rear their own calves. By adding cake 
or meal, a much better result could be obtained, but it 
would not pay. Milk sells badly, and the gross pro- 
duce of each cow is not reckoned at more than £8 per 
annum, without including the value of the manure. 
Until recently a little straw and some inferior hay was 
all that the stock could have dm-ing the winter, but the 
improvement in cultivation already noticed is gi\dng a 
supply of clover, lucerne, and sainfoin. These, with 
maize preserved for winter food, permit some of the 
more enterprising farmers to use cattle in larger num- 



BERRI AND SOLOGNE, 299 

bers- and of more kindly habits. The brindled and red Cattle. 
and white coats of the shorthorn cows from Anjou and 
Maine are not unfrequently seen among the uniform 
reds of the local breed. Six years ago such animals 
would have found no buyers in the country, but they 
are now sought for. It is, however, very doubtful if 
the food resources of the country are yet equal to the 
requirements of this more exacting breed. 

These remarks do not apply to that small portion of 
Berri which joins the departments of Nievre and AUier, 
because the stock there is chiefly the grand Charolais 
race, and the pastures equal those of these two depart- 
ments, producing cattle which defy competition from 
any district in Sologne, or in the other parts of Berri. 

Horses are few, and have not for many generations Horses. 
been bred here to any extent, though formerly the breed 
must have had some reputation, as Henry IV. sent some 
Berri horses as a present to Queen Elizabeth, which 
were supposed to be better than any that could be found 
in England at that time. They were small, hardy, and 
vigorous : the race has disappeared. A large establish- 
ment has recently been started at La Baude, in Cher, 
for the breeding of draft-horses. It began in 1874 with 
eleven sires of the type of the Norfolk trotters, and a 
dozen brood mares ; it is now on a larger scale. 

Honey is largely cultivated in Sologne, where there Honey. 
are fully 20,000 hives, bringing in about £12,000 with- 
out any cost. The chief seat of the honey-farming is at 



300 BERRI AND SOLOGNE. 

ISTouan le Fuzilier, wliere eacli cottager has at least five 
or six hives, some as many as 100. Owners of hives in 
the neighbouring departments bring them here for the 
season when the heather is in flower, paying a rent of 
half a franc for each hive ; 1,500 to 2,000 are thus 
brought annually. 



MAECHE— LIMOUSIN. 



" Marche. Much sandy land that produces rye only, and the 
crops exceedingly poor. I saw much that will not yield more than 
a quarter per acre. 

" Limousin. Rye produces four times the seed, but no trifling- 
quantity is sown that hardly yields more than the seed, by reason of 
poverty and bad management. 

" In regard to general beauty of a country I prefer Limousin to 
every other province of France j its beauty does not depend upon 
any particular feature, but the result of many. Hill, dale, wood, 
enclosures, streams, lakes, and scattered farms, are mingled into a 
thousand delicious landscapes, which set off" everywhere this province." 
— Arthur Young, 1789. 

" The peasants continue the old system of farming. Rye still 
produces only four or five times the seed. Round Limoges all 
modem improvements are introduced, and the proverbial barrenness 
of the country retires before them, but this influence penetrates only 
a short distance, and away from Limoges the old poverty is para- 
mount." — Leonce de Lavergne, 1866. 





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MARC HE. 303 

Marclie, the border country between tbe pos- 
sessions of the French, kings and those of the Enghsh, 
when the latter owned Aquitaine, is more wild and 
picturesque than the border country of England and 
Scotland ; but no French Scott has yet risen to make 
the dry bones of its past romantic history live. There 
surely must be such a history in a country which was 
the home of Xantrailles, who took our Talbot prisoner 
at the battle of Patay, releasing him. without a ransom, 
and receiving the same mark of courtesy when he 
himself was captured shortly afterwards ; and of La 
Hire, who fought with such savage brutality by the 
side of Joan of Arc, and who got his nickname from the 
roar as of a mastiff with which he charged the English, 
and who alone of all the French leaders tried to rescue 
the Maid from her captors. The Montgomery s, 
Lusignans, Armagnacs, Mortemarts, and Bourbons all 
held possessions in Marche; it sheltered Charlotte 
d'Albret, the cruelly-used wife of Caesar Borgia ; was 
the native country of the Great Master of the Knights 
of Ehodes, Peter d'Aubusson, who held that island 
against Mahomet II. and 100,000 Turks, and who kept 
prisoner in his castle of Bourganeuf for seven years — 
from 1482 to 1489 — Zizim, the brother of Bajazet. 
The grande-mademoiselle daughter of the Duke of 
Orleans, and the richest heiress in Europe, was exiled 
to her estates in Marche ; and there are still remains 
of her magnificent dwelling. Under the Chateau de 
Peyreire, the old residence of the Armagnacs, lies now 
buried a treasure of £2,000,000 sterling in gold, to be 



304 ■ MARC HE. 

found only by the one who is pure in heart and soul ; 
to discover which a company was formed not so long 
ago, hut which was unsuccessful, as it was certain to be 
from the first, companies having neither heart nor soul, 
and the desire to get the money doing away with any 
purity of intention. It was just outside Marche, 
but in Limousin, that the finding of a similar treasure 
cost our Richard I. his life. "The Yiscount of Limoges 
had found a great buried treasure — a golden emperor 
and all his court, sitting at a golden table. The king 
demanded his share — the lion's share ; the viscount 
gave, but not all ; so the king besieged his castles, and 
before one of them — Chains Chabrol- — received his 
death-wound." {Stubh's ''Early Flaniagenets!') 

A country which has such a castle as Crozant, built 
on a rocky promontory, two of whose sides, measuring 
each 1,000 paces, are bounded by a torrent, and the 
third by a ravine — a castle which could hold a garrison 
of 10,000 men, and of which George Sand says: "One 
hardly knows which has been boldest, or more tragically 
inspired, on this spot — nature or man. Such a place 
seems necessarily connected with scenes of implacable 
contest, eternal desolation, and yet the history of a 
stronghold so important in the wars of the Middle Ages 
is almost unknown;" as Boussac, with its noble guard- 
room, the fireplace of which is fifteen feet wide and 
fifteen feet high ; where also was the noble Abbey of 
Grandmont, besides many other castles and abbeys — 
must have some romantic history ; and 3'et no one 
seems to know anything about it. There are, besides, 



MARC HE. 305 

an unusual number of Druidical monuments, and of the 
largest size ; and earthworks and mounds, markiDg the 
sites of towns of a date before the Roman conquests ; 
and remains also of Eoman stations. 

In spite of the connection of Marche with so 
many noble names, it has no separate history as 
Brittany, or Burgundy, or N^ormand}" has; and though 
castles and abbeys testify to the presence of those who 
usually called the lands around them their own, it seems 
always to have been a kind of "no-man's-land." The 
people appear to have settled down upon it much as 
squatters would, and to this day it retains the evidence 
of such irregular occupation. The villages consist of 
little groups of ten or twelve houses, occupied by 
perhaps fifty people, nearly all bearing the same name, 
each family owning a small estate of from ten to fifteen 
acres, but the group using from 100 to 300 acres in 
common for pasturage. There are hundreds of these 
village communities. One-sixth of the whole land in 
Creuse — 250,000 acres — is held in common; 750,000 
acres are owned by small proprietors, none having more 
than twenty acres at the outside, most from ten to 
twelve ; less than 400,000 acres are in the liands of 
proprietors who let on the metayer system, in farms of 
from fifty to sixty acres. Out of the 273,000 inhabi- 
tants — which at four to a family would make less than 
63,000 households — there are more than 75,000 free- 
holders, including those who own house-property. 
This seems a perfect system of an equal division of 
property, and should bring perfect happiness and 

TJ 



306 MARC HE, 

comfort, but it does not ; and because the results are 
directly contrary, there being more poverty and worse 
farming here than anywhere else in France, this depart- 
ment is pointed out as an evidence of the failure of an 
equal division of land. Such a deduction is an unfair 
one, because it has been the custom for many generations 
(it was noticed in the seventeenth century as having 
then long been common) for the mass of the adult 
population to leave the country every year to work as 
masons, stonecutters, bricklayers, &c. ; and these emi- 
grants do not spend more than three months out of 
each year at home, and those three months are in the 
winter, when but little work can be done. It is true 
they bring back with them the money they have saved, 
amounting probably to £200,000, but the country loses 
by their absence ; and so important is the drain that 
nearly 34,000 men leave every season out of a male 
population, between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five, 
of less than 64,000. It may be said that almost every 
able-bodied working-man, not an inhabitant of a town, 
leaves the country for the time that he Avould be most 
useful at home, and the work on the land has to be 
done by the women, the infirm, and the aged. To 
make matters worse, many of the emigrants, and the 
best of them, do not come back at all ; and though the 
population returns of the department of La Creuse show 
a trifling increase since the last census, the increase is 
owing to the opening of the mines in the coal district 
of Ahun. This annual exodus Avas no doubt caused 
originally by the land not producing enough to support 



MARC BE. 307 

the inhabitants, and the land still remains poor; too 
poor for the extreme division that takes place, and fox^ 
its extensive use in common. But rich land could not 
be well farmed whose best hands left it every season 
at the time it most wanted attending to. 

Marche is a granite country of an average 
elevation of 1,000 to 1,200 feet above the level of the 
sea ; the highest parts do not rise into peaks, but are 
undulating plains, or slightly rounded hills so little 
broken that it is not easy to realise the fact of their 
being 3,000 feet high. It is a country of many springs, 
the head waters of the rivers Vienne, Creuse, Indre, 
and Cher, and their feeders, all eventually finding their 
way into the Loire. These springs form rapid streams 
or torrents, which run in deep ravines. The principal 
river, La Creuse, probably owes its name to the hollow 
" Creux " through which it runs, the cliffs of its valley 
or gorge being generally from 300 to 1,200 feet high, 
and well wooded. The small towns or villages are 
many of them built as if at the bottom of a funnel, 
and the winds may be blowing keenly on the bleak 
uncultivated plains above when hardly a breath will 
refresh the valley below. The description of Chambon 
by George Sand is applicable to most places in 
Marche: — "The country is lovely; the little town is very 
w^ell placed. It is reached by a slope in the mountains, 
or rather by a cleft in a pretty deep ravine, for properly 
speaking, mountain there is none. Leaving the great 
plains above where the land is poor and wet, covered 
with stunted trees and large bushes, the descent is by 
u 2 



308 MARCHE. 

a long winding defile occasionally opening out into 
a valley. At the bottom of this gorge, which often 
branches oif into others, are streams as bright as 
crystal, not navigable, torrents rather than rivers, 
thongh they only slip away rapidly, murmuring a 
little, but threatening no one. It is a country of 
grass and leaves, a continual cradle of verdure, of bright 
meadows carpeted with flowers." 

The climate is cold and wet ; snow covers the 
higher levels sometimes for many months in the year. 
The rainfall averages from twenty to thirty-two inches, 
according to locality : in some parts it reaches thirty- 
six inches. This rainfall comes mostty in the spring, 
the late summer months being hot, and the autumn 
fine, when the waters of the streams are much reduced. 

ktion ^^^ ^ country without towns Marche is well populated, 
having 138 inhabitants to the square mile; it stands in 
this respect sixty- third among the departments of France, 
but there are very many others only just a little more 
or a little less populous. The inhabitants are classed 
at 9O2 per cent, rural, and OJ urban ; 89,000 as li^dng 
collected, and 184,000 as scattered. But the urban 
population can have very few of the characteristics 
of dwellers in cities, seeing that the two largest towns 
only average 6,000 each, and there is but one other 
that approaches 4,000. As a set-ofi" to this the rural 
have all the points of the least advanced dwellers 
within reach of civilisation. " The groups of cottages 
that form the small villages, little republics, half 



MARC HE. 309 

hidden among the blossoms of the cherry-trees, or 
the deep shade of the chesnnts, look like such dwell- 
ings as would have existed during the age of gold; 
such as are put on the stage. A near approach destroys 
the illusion. The roads are deep in mire and hardly 
passable ; the mouldy thatched roofs touch each other^ 
the walls are low and foul, the beds are crowded 
together in rooms without light or ventilation ; the 
cattle live with their owners, and the dung-heap 
obstructs every access ; the furniture and the utensils 
are of the most primitive kind, and the clothing of 
the people is made from wool and hemp, home- 
grown, home- spun, and home-made.'' {Leonce de 
Lavergne}) 

The food is of the lowest : bread from buckwheat 
and rye, and a kind of porridge or paste made from 
chesnuts, form the staple of the nourishment of the 
people, with the addition of potatoes ; though these 
would seem to be considered as only to be eaten should 
they not be wanted for the pigs, if the remark put by 
a romance writer who knows the country well into 
the mouth of one of his characters is any way near 
the truth : "I get potatoes if any can be spared from 
the pigs. Why should I have them ? it would be of no 
use fattening me up, they could not sell me." 

The standard of education is low : more than forty- Educa- 

tion. 

six out of every hundred inhabitants over six years old 
can neither read nor write ; and this official evidence of . 
ignorance is not compensated by any extra natural 



310 MARCHE. 

intelligence in the people, or by any instances of 
superior education in any portion of them. 

Farming. Parming is very backward, and the system appa- 
rently has not changed for ages. There is hardly a 
wheel-plough in the whole country — the work is done by 
the same sort of instrument as was in use when the 
Druidical monuments were built. Over most of the land 
no wheat is grown, only buckwheat and rye, each of 
which gives a minimum yield, the result comparing very 
unfavourably with the produce of the same grains in 
Brittany ; but turnips are grown, and the soil and 
climate are both suitable for this root, which would be 
very productive if properly cultivated. Bailways now 
bringing in lime and marl, and enabling produce to find 
good markets, are beginning to alter the farming. Artifi- 
cial grasses and roots are increasing. One-third of the 
land is in permanent pasture, a larger proportion than 
in any other department, except in the adjoining one of 
Haute Yienne ; and there are some water meadows, but 
not nearly so many as there should be. The numerous 
streams to be found all over the country are not utilised ; 
m the wet season they overflow and do mischief, and 
when the water would be serviceable there is none to be 
had. But the full use of natural advantages cannot be 
obtained in a country where so much of the land is 
occupied in common, and practically wasted. 

Sheop. Tiie Marche farmer depends for his money returns 

upon the produce of his sheep principally; they are 



MARC HE, 311 

reared without cost upon the rough open pastures round Sheep. 
each village ; and in winter, when they must he under 
cover while the ground is covered with snow or deluged 
with rain, they are harely kept alive hy rations of dried 
fern, or heath, or had hay. Under this treatment many 
hundreds die yeurly, and those that survive give a worse 
return hoth of wool — an average of four lbs. only — and 
meat than any sheep in France : they are the smallest 
in the country and the lowest in price. At the census 
in 1862 they were valued at only nine francs, less than 
half the value of the average : through the rest of 
France there has been a great advance since 1862, partly 
because meat is dearer, but largely because the sheep 
are better. Marche has improved but little, and the 
quality is so poor that it has not felt the full advantage 
of the advance in price from the first reason. The sort 
of animal is by no means a bad one ; diminished in size 
by living in a bleak cold country, and by being badly 
treated, it greatly and rapidly improves when moved to 
better quarters ; and the Marchais breed is a favourite 
and profitable one with sheep-farmers across the centre 
of France, from the mountains of Auvergne to the hills 
of La Yendee. 

Quicker communications and higher prices are be- 
ginning to tell even here. Two hundred rams of the 
better sort of the Berri breed are now bought where 
one hundred were bought formerly; but the best Mar- 
chais sheep do not weigh more than from 60 to 70 lbs. 
without their wool. 



312 MARCHE, 

Cattle. The cattle are in tlie north the same breed essentially 

as the Parthenais ; in the south, the Limousin. None 
of the oxen are kept for labour, they are all sold away, 
either when qaite young as calves, or when older and 
fit for work : the farming- work at home is all done by 
cows, which help to feed the family with their milk, or 
bring in some money from dairy produce ; and when 
past the age at which they are profitable, they are put 
up to fatten as best they may ; but as it is seldom they 
are so put up until they are ten years old, the result is 
not very satisfactory. 

Pigs. There is a large production of pigs in Mar die, 

the soil particularly suits the growth of potatoes, 
upon which they are fed, and now that there are 
means of conveyance by railway which permit of their 
reaching distant markets without being driven on foot, 
the sorts that are put on fat at the expense of their 
capacity for locomotion are increasing. 

Export of Upon the whole, the export of animals of all kinds 

Animals. -" ^ 

Avill now reach as much as £400,000 yearly, and is 
increasing. 

Limousin. " The bcauty of the country is so various, and in 
every respect so striking and interesting, that I shall 
attempt no particular description, but observe in general, 
that I am much in doubt whether there be anvthins: 
comparable to it either in England or Ireland. It is 
not that a fine view breaks now and then u23on the eye 



LIMOUSIN, ' 313 

to compensate the traveller for tlie dulness of a miicli 
longer district, but a quick succession of landscapes, 
many of which, would be rendered famous in England 
by the resort of travellers to view them. The country 
is all hill or valley ; the hills are very high, and would 
be called with us mountains, if waste and covered with 
heath ; but being cultivated to the very tops, their 
magnitude is lessened to the eye. Their forms are 
various ; they swell in beautiful semi-globes ; they pro- 
ject in abrupt masses, which enclose deep glens ; they 
expand into amphitheatres of cultivation that rise in 
gradation to the eye, in some places tossed into a 
thousand inequalities of surface ; in others, the eye 
reposes on scenes of the softest verdure. Add to 
this the rich robe ia which Nature's bounteous hand 
has dressed the slopes with hanging woods of chesnut, 
and whether the vales open their verdant bosoms, 
and admit the sun to illumine the rivers in their com- 
parative repose ; or whether they be closed in deep 
glens, that afford a passage with difficulty to the water 
rolling over their rocky beds, and dazzling the eye with 
the lustre of cascades, in every case the features are 
interesting and characteristic of the scenery. Some 
views of singular beauty riveted us to the spots. That 
of the town of TJzerche, covering a conical hill, rising in 
the hollow of an amphitheatre of wood, and surrounded 
at its feet by a noble river, is unique. The water 
scenes from the town itself, and immediately after 
passing it, are delicious. The immense view from the 
descent to Donzenach is equally magnificent. Pass 



314 LIMOUSIN. 

aaother artificial lake between cultivated hills ; beyond 
are wilder heights, but mixed with pleasant vales ; still 
another lake more beautiful than the former, with a fine 
accompaniment of wood ; across a mountain of chesnut 
copse, which commands a scene of a character different 
from any I have viewed either in France or England, a 
great range of hill and dale all covered with forest, and 
bounded by distant mountains. Not a vestige of any 
human residence : no village, no house or hut, no 
smoke to raise the idea of a peopled country ; an 
American scene, wild enough for the tomahawk of the 
savage." 

Such was Limousin as it appeared to Arthur Young 
in 1788, and to the traveller on the same road it has 
not seemingly altered since then. The small increase of 
population has not been sufficient to remove that cha- 
racter of solitude which was so striking to him, that 
increase being wholly in the towns. The higher slopes 
of the hills, or mountains, as he says they should be 
called, have been somewhat cleared of their forests, but 
the noble groves of chesnuts remain untouched. 350,000 
acres in Limousin are covered with chesnuts, forming 
part of that belt of a million and a quarter acres that 
extends across the southern part of the centre of France, 
without taking any account of solitary trees. Nothing 
in sylvan scenery can be more bewitching than the sight 
of the play of sunlight through these forest groves, Ht 
up with the sparkling streams and small lakes. Limou- 
sin has been called the Scotland of France. It has 
the granite peaks, the mountains, the streams, and the 



LIMOUSIN, 315 

waterfalls, but the lakes are small and artificial, being 
large ponds kept back by embankments. It has the 
trout, and in some rivers the salmon, but it has not the 
grouse. It has the mountain and the flood, but hardly 
the brown heath, and certainly the woods are not shaggy: 
they are such specimens of timber as Scotland cannot 
show. 

It is significant that in his comparison of Limou- 
sin with his own country, Young omits the name of 
Scotland ; but at the time he wrote Scotland was no 
more known to strangers than Limousin is now. French 
writers are frequently asserting that shoals of travellers 
leave their own country yearly to visit scenes of beauty 
which are inferior to what they have at home, and that 
if only Limousin were out of France, Frenchmen would 
crowd to see it. The rivers rush through deep clefts in 
the mountains ; and, strangely enough, there is hardly 
one which has a high-road running down its valley. The 
grandest of them all, the Dordogne, in the sixty miles 
of its course through Limousin, from the basaltic cliffs 
of Bort, 2,500 feet high, where it enters the province, to 
its exit, has hardly a dozen miles of high-road on its 
banks. The coach-roads run north and south, and they 
cross these rivers, giving travellers a passing glance at 
their beauties ; but no railway direct from Paris to any 
part enters the country, and thousands of English on 
their way to Italy or the Pyrenees pass within a few 
miles of some of the finest scenery on the Continent 
without any conception of its beauty. 



316 LIMOUSIN. 

Climate. 'j'j^e climate is irregular, cold and wet on tlie liiglier 

levels. The true southern climate of France really 
begins when the rivers Correze and Dordogne are crossed. 
In some parts the rainfall exceeds thirty-six inches 
yearly, and all through the province it is above the 
average of France. This central plateau of France, of 
which Limousin forms a most important part, marks 
the division of the climate of the country. To the 
north of it the temperature ranges from 50° to 55"^, to 
the south from 55° to 60°, but this difference of 5^ 
does not indicate sufficiently the difference that exists. 
On the north there is, in the main, equ?dity of moisture 
and of vfeather, frequency but not intensity of rain ; 
on the south, excessive heats and drought, and at 
periods storms of a violence unknown in the north, and 
devastating floods, so that the countries which are the 
most parched by drought are also those in which the 
most rain falls. The attention of the administration is 
now drawn to the danger of allowing this state of things 
to continue, and the w\aters of the Rhone and the Graronne 
will ere long be made use of to fertilise the country by 
irrigation, instead of devastating it by floods. 

Farming. Limousiu is a grass country. Of its 2,000,000 acres 

very little more than one-third is arable, and of that 
third nearly a half is under root-crops, more than 
a quarter is grass, and more than another quarter 
waste, chiefly, however, rough pasture. On some farms 
of one hundred acres, fifty will be grass and twenty 
others in root-crops. Irrigation is very generalh^ prac- 



LIMOUSIN. 317 

tised ; the springs and rivulets are diverted, but not on Farming. 
any general system, each, farm irrigating on its ov7n 
account during the winter and spring ; and as there is no 
arrangement for an outfall, the water accumulates and 
forms marshes, which are most unhealthy, and breed 
fevers. 

The metayer system, so successful in countries 
where the land is rich, as in Anjou, is prevalent here, to 
the hindrance of the advance that the country ought to 
make. The agreement between the landowner and the 
farmer is verbal, and the tenancy open to be cancelled in 
any year, though it rarely is cancelled. This uncertainty 
makes the farmer hoard his savings instead of putting 
them in the land, and the landowners, who really are 
partners with the farmers, take their share of the profits 
and give no care to improvements; indeed, the attempts 
when made are not encouraging. One large landowner, 
M. Tesserenc de Bort, now (1877) Minister of Agricul- 
ture, offered to pay for half the lime his tenants could use 
with advantage, but the offer remained a dead letter. 
''The farmers and farming are wretched," said M. de 
Lavergne, in 1860. Some improvement has taken 
place since then, stimulated very much by the wealth 
brought into the country by the porcelain manufacture; 
the business men taking much interest in the improve- 
ment of their estates. The farmers bestow their chief 
care on their cattle, and in this they are right. Limou- 
sin is not a corn-growing country. The area under 
corn is diminishing, that under grass is increasing. 

Improvement, however, does progress. Cattle is the 



318 LIMOUSIN, 

farming, niain dependence of the Limousin farmer, and cattle 
cannot be sent to market to make the best price unless 
well fed, and good food cannot be got without better 
produce, which again cannot be grown under the old 
system. So lime and phosphates are bought, artificial 
grasses are more grown, and altogether Limousin 
farming is following in the wake of other farming in 
France. Mowing and reaping machines, even, are by 
no means rare now, and the thrashing is done by steam, 
by people who travel the country with machines. 

All this is done very cautiously; the Limousin farmer 
will run no risk ; he must put by money at the year's 
end, and he does ; every one buys some government 
stock out of his yearly saving. 

The impulsion, indeed, does not come from the 
farmer, the " metayer," but from the landowner, and 
its effect can be illustrated by the result upon one pro- 
perty, that of Mons. Nadaud. 

On one of his farms, consisting of 37 acres, of which 
10 are vine3^ard, and only 2| acres grass, the head 
of stock weighs nearly 5^ tons, and is worth £270 ; 
on another of 45 acres, of which five are vineyard, 
the family was formerly in misery, but has during 
the last ten years lived comfortably, and bought £400 
worth of freehold land ; on one of 50 acres there are 
eight large bullocks, 25 sheep, and an indefinite number 
of pigs ; the value of the stock on December 31st, 1876, 
was nearly £300, and weighed nearly 1\ tons. On all 
Mons. Nadaud's farms the tenants have money to invest 
everv year, and the change is owing to the abandonment 



LIMOUSIN, 



319 



of corn-growing, and the substitution for it of the rear- Farming. 
ing of stock. 

The estate was bought in 1850 ; it consists of about 
200 acres, and cost £3,000. At the time of purchase it 
brought in £72 per annum, raised with difficulty and 
irregularly paid. £2,000 have been expended in im- 
provements, and the income to the landlord in 1876 
was £480, paid cheerfully, and leaving a comfortable 
surplus to the farmers. {Mons. de la Trehonnais in ike 
''Journal (T Agriculture!') 

The hundredth part of the farinaceous food of Chesnuts. 
France is derived from chesnuts, mainly grown in 
Limousin, Auvergne, and Perigord. Chesnuts contain 
more nourishment than an equal weight of potatoes, and 
the flour keeps well. An acre, fully planted, would 
contain seventy full-grown trees, though few acres have 
that number. The yield of seventy trees would support 
a man for fourteen months ; but chesnuts are not good 
food taken alone : with rye-bread and milk they form 
the chief nourishment of the people in this country. 
They are not unwholesome, but the populations that 
use them so freely are not vigorous. They are cooked 
by being first skinned and then put into a large boiler, 
with a little salt and a small quantity of water ; they 
are covered in closely and steamed : too much water 
would make them lose their flavour and nourishing 
qualities. When done they are squeezed into a kind of 
paste and dried, or are eaten hot in a kind of porridge. , 
In 1876 the department of the Dordogne, adjoining 



320 LIMOUSIN. 

Linionsin, exported over £50,000 worth, of cliesnuts and 
£140,000 worth, of walnuts. 

Popula- jj^ point of the number of inhabitants, Limousin 

tion. ^ 

compares favourably with the rest of rural France ; it 
is 133 to the square mile. The earthenware manu- 
facture, which is carried on in the Haute Yienne, 
necessarily collects workers together, and Limoges, the 
chief seat of the trade, contains over 55,000 inhabitants; 
St. Yriex, where the clay-pits are situated, has a popula- 
tion of 7,000 ; Tulle, which for a long period has been 
the seat of a manufacture of firearms, has 14,000 
inhabitants ; and Brives, dealing in local agricultural 
produce, notably in truffles and in mustard, has 11,000. 
After these the towns drop down to the level of large 
villages, none exceeding about 4,000. Eighty per cent, 
of the population are rural, and one-third returned as 
living collected together. Deducting the agglomeration 
in the towns, two-thirds of the population live a life as 
solitary as that of the Bretons, and, from the situation 
of the country, as much cut off from active communica- 
tion with the world as they are. The higliAvays of travel 
from Paris, the centre, to Italy one way, to Spain the 
other, have left Limousin untouched by the civilisation 
that follows traffic. The active life of the valley of the 
Loire, and that of the rich countries of the south, from 
Bordeaux, by Toulouse and Avignon, to Marseilles, 
were unfelt through the central granite district of 
Limousin. The great highways of the Elione, the 
Garonne, and the Loire, attracted, and have received 



LIMOUSIN, 321 

from the earliest times to tlie present, tlie best that 
.France had to offer of social and political interest. The 
unattractive table -lands of Limousin — unattractive in the 
sense of the absence of the power of producing what 
men most covet — were from a remote period the refuge 
of people driven from the fertile plains ; and the inhabi- 
tants are now clearly distinct from those of the countries 
that join them on either side. 

" This country has been fixed upon, as the cradle of 
Celtic nationality in France, and there are some who 
believe that here the old Graulish blood kept itself purer 
from external admixture than was the case anywhere 
else in the land." (Morley, Fortni^Jdlp Review, May, 
1877.) ^ ■ 

In the eyes of those who gauge worth by size,. 
Limousin is unfavourably distinguished, this province 
being the last in the list of all the departments of 
France for the number of m3n rejected for service in the 
army from being below the standard. In Haute Yienne 
nearly 175 out of every 1,000 were so rejected; and in 
Correze nearly 168, the standard being five feet four 
inches. The feeblest tribes in the early days of con- 
quest would take refuge in the.poor mountainous districts 
of the Limousin ; and a diet of chestnuts instead of corn, 
and of pork in place of beef and mutton, during succes- 
sive generations, would not tend to develop a stature 
originally deficient. 



Education is low. Haute Vienne comes last of all Educa- 

.-,.,, , tion, 

the eighty-seven departments, with more than 61 per 

V . . 



3.22 LIMOUSIN. 

cent, of its inliabitants above six 3'ears of age wb.o can 
neither read nor write. Correze is eighty-first, with 55 per 
cent. But Limousin has (1876) the honour of providing 
Prance with her agricultural minister. M. Tesserenc 
de Bort is a Limousin. In his attention to the general 
wants of the country at large he certainly will not 
overlook the claims of his native province, and in this 
he vdll be well supported by his son, who is the author 
of one of the most useful manuals of elementary agri- 
cultural education, drawn up for the use of the 
commune in which his father's estate is situated, but 
applicable generally to the whole of Limousin. 

Sheep. The breed of sheep is the same as that in Marche ; 
there is the same over-abundance of quantity, and the 
same rough treatment. In number Marche and 
Limousin count more sheep on the same area than any 
other part of France, but we have seen how inferior 
they are in size. They rarely leave the country fat ; 
but are very useful as store sheep in those countries 
where the land is better and food more plentiful, and 
they are a steady source of income to the breeders at 
the smallest possible outlay of money. 

Cattle. The basis of profitable farming in Limousin is the 
rearing of cattle. The cows are kept for all the home hi- 
bour ; the young bullocks are sold when fifteen or eighteen 
months old, or even younger, untrained. They are largely 
used on the fertile plains and light lands of the Charentes, 



LIMOUSIN. 323 

where tlieir labour and manure are supposed to pay for Cattle. 
their keep ; and when well trained they readily find 
buyers at a good profit on cost prices. These buyers 
take them northwards, and sell them for heavy farm- 
work on the stiffer soils of Berri, and through the 
country, right up into Flanders : here the end of their 
career approaches, as they are fatted off on beet-pulp 
when the sugar-making and beet-planting season is 
over, and they may be seen by scores at the market of 
La Yillette in Paris, towering over most of their com- 
petitors, bearing upon their shoulders evidences of the 
solid work they have done. " These oxen are of a 
beautiful form ; their backs straight and flat, with a fine 
springing rib ; clean throat and leg ; felt well ; and are 
in every respect superior to many breeds we have in 
England. We met a great many droves of these oxen, 
and they were with few exceptions very fat; and, con- 
sidering the season, May, the most diflicult of the year, 
they were fatter than oxen commonly seen in England 
in the spring. I handled many scores of them, and 
found them an excellent breed, and very well fattened."' 
Since Young's time the cattle have greatly improved in 
England, and the Limousin are probably no better now 
than they were then. Attempts have been made to 
increase the size by a cross with a more southern race, 
the Agenaise, but it has only been successful where the 
pastures and general feeding are exceptionally rich ; 
elsewhere the result has produced an increase of bone, a 
thickening of the hide, and a general falling- off from the 
good qualities of the pure breed. The cross with the 
V 2 



324 LIMOUSIN. 

Cattle, sliortliorn lias given, as usual, an animal more early fit 
for tlie butclier, sucli a one as takes the prizes in tlie 
fat-stock shows ; but they are not Limousins, nor is it 
possible to rear them where the Limousins are reared, 
or to get them to do the work the Limousins do ; what 
progress has been made has been by selecting the best 
sires. With the exception of the males necessary for 
breeding none are kept in the country. The farm- work 
is done by cows. This breedgives but little milk— enough 
to aid materially in the nourishment of the household, 
and to rear the calves, but nothing more. Although the 
main business of cattle-breeding in Limousin is that 
of raising young stock, and selling it as soon as buyers 
can be found for it, fatting for market is not wholly 
neglected, and about 6,000 beasts are sent up to 
Paris yearly from this country. 

Horses. Limousiu had in former times a very fine breed of 
saddle-horses, and when the French gentry rode and 
hunted a great deal more than they have done during the 
last three or four generations, the Limousin horses made 
high prices. The breed was dying out more than a 
hundred years ago, and the introduction of the Arab and 
English horse at the Pompadour stud in 1763 helped 
to extinguish it, for extinguished it is said to be com- 
pletely. There is hardly even a tradition left of what 
it was like. It still existed to some extent in 1787, as 
Arthur Young says, " This province is reckoned to breed 
the best light horses that are in the kingdom, and some 
capital regiments of light horse are always mounted 



LIMOUSIN. 325 

from lience : tliey are noted for tlieir motion and Horses. 
hardiness. Owing to the introduction of the Arabs the 
breed of this province, which was almost spoiled, has 
been much recovered." It would seem from this that 
the true breed did not exist in Young's time, but a good 
cross of it with the Arab, retaining that character for 
which the original breed was most noted, easiness of 
motion. The whole of the stock was probably used up 
during the Napoleonic wars, and if any remains of it are 
to be found it will be among the herds of horses that 
exist in a half- wild state in some parts of this country. 
At present they are greatly neglected — ^left to shift for 
themselves in the open wastes and forests. They remain 
out-of-doors as long as the snow is not too thick for 
them to get some meagre food by scratching it away. 
The lasso is often used to capture them, and when taken 
up they are put upon scant rations of straw. On some 
domains there are mares twenty years old which have 
never carried a saddle or had a scrap of harness upon 
them. To get at them they must be stalked like deer. 
These wild horses fall off greatly in condition in January 
and February ; by May and June they pick up flesh ; 
in July and August, during the heats and drought, they 
often go several days without drinking ; in November 
they are in fair condition, feeding upon acorns. These 
horses have a fine coat, very little mane, and the mane, 
as well as the coat, is soft and silky. Their legs are 
sinewy, and without rough hair ; their head is clean, the 
crest light, their hoofs good, their hams broad and well 
developed, tendons and muscles well brought out, and 



326 LIMOUSIN. 

Horses, very powerful ; they are very hardy, and liave every 
point of a useful army horse except height. Care and 
breeding and better food will, it is hoped and expected, 
give them another hand in height, and the haras of 
Pompadour is near enough to them to give them a 
useful cross with the Arab and English thoroughbred. 
There is the same tradition here as elsewhere in the west 
of France, that the breed is descended from the Arab 
horses of the Saracen army defeated by Charles Martel 
in the eighth century, and with every probabihty of 
truth, for the wilds of Limousin are sufficiently near the 
scene of the battle for the horses to have escaped there, 
and the country would then, as now, be one pro^dding 
abundant grass for supporting them. 

It is quite probable that the saddle-horses for which 
Canada is famous may be descended from this breed, as 
the French emigrants took horses with them at the time 
that the Limousin was the best saddle-horse in France. 
The Canadian horses are much liked, and 15,000 of them 
are bought for the United States yearly, for light harness 
and saddle work. 

As the breeders take more pains with their stock, 
landowners in the lower country, where the soil is better, 
are beginning to buy young Limousin horses, as they 
have always bought the young bullocks, and with the 
better food the horses improve as the bullocks do. 

Pigs. 'j'l^e breed of pigs is wholly unimproved, and perhaps 
suits the country fully as well as if the blood of more 
easily fattening animals were introduced, as they would 



LIMOUSIN. 



327 



be more dainty in the matter of food. Long-legged, Pigs 
narrow-backed, hollow in the belly, they are very 
hardy ; they cost but little for the first fifteen or eighteen 
months of their lives, and as soon as they have a good 
mess of potatoes, bran, and chestnuts put before them 
they fatten rapidly and grow heavy. They sell well for 
bacon and such purposes much used in the south, but 
are not adapted for the manufacture of those delicate 
preparations of pork which are largely consumed in 
Paris and in the north ; the smallest farmer in the 
Limousin will take to the fairs seven to ten great pigs, 
worth from £8 to £9 each. 




PERIGORD RACE. 



BOUEBONNAIS AND NIVEENAIS. 



*' One of tlie finest provinces in France. The finest climate, perhaps, 
in Europe ; a beautiful and a healthy country. 

" The Bourbonnais and Nivernais form one vast plain, through 
which the Loire and the Allier pass. The predominant soil in much 
the greater part is gravel, I believe, commonly on a calcareous bottom, 
but at considerable depths. Some tracts are sandy, vs^hich are better 
than the gravels, and others are very good friable sandy loams. The 
whole, in its present cultivation, must be reckoned amongst the most 
unproductive provinces in the kingdom, but capable of as great im- 
provement, by a different management, as any district in France." — 
Arthur Young, 1789. 



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BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 331 

The provinces of Bourbonnais and Nivernais, both, 
with greater natural capacity for improvement than 
Berri or Solbgne (except that part of Berri which joins 
Nivernais and resembles it) are not so far ahead of their 
poorer neighbours as they should be, but they are 
making progress, and they ought soon to take the rank 
in tillage -farming which they already hold in cattle - 
rearing, and which the natural fertility of the soil would 
enable them easily to reach. 

Nivernais is hilly, and the land sticky, and difficult 
to farm. Bourbonnais is far before it in the nature of 
its soil, but it is not before it in its farming ; it is more 
in the hands of metayers, and they are below the 
average of this class in France. 

Bourbonnais has 200,000 acres of wheat, and 114,000 
of rye. The proportion of rye is too great ; the land 
would bear wheat very generally, and it is almost a 
national disgrace that so much good land should be sub- 
jected to so poor a cultivation. There is some progress 
in the right direction, as the returns of 1862 showed 
250,000 of rye. It is not very clear what has become 
of the 134,000 acres diverted from rye, as wheat has 
not increased, nor barley ; and oats have decreased. Only 
55,000 acres are accounted for in the returns, artificial 
grasses and root-crops showing that increase. One-third 
of the arable land is now (1873), as in 1862, under bare 
fallow, which is a great deal too much. 

]N'ivernais has 200,000 acres of wheat to 46,000 of 
rye — a not unreasonable proportion, as much of the 
land in the Morvan range of mountains is too cold and 



332 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

wet to suit wheat. Wheat, according to the returns of 
1876, shows in much the same quantities as in 1862. 
Barley has increased 10,000 acres, and oats 40,000, 
while rye has decreased about 5,000 acres. Artificial 
grasses have increased 17,000 acres, about 20 per cent. ; 
and roots are now 14,000 acres, from being less than 
4,000 in 1862 ; and bare fallow has fallen from 285,000 
acres to 225,000. This shows a general improvement 
all round. The yield per acre has increased : it now 
averages nearly twenty bushels per acre ; it was seven- 
teen in 1862, and not much over te'n in the beginning of 
the century. 

Soil. KtA this is the land which Arthur Young calls 

. " the pleasant plains of the Bourbonnais, perhaps the 
most eligible country of all France, or even of all 
Europe, as far as soil and climate are concerned ; " and 
again, " I shall in general observe upon this gravelly 
district, that it is one of the most improvable I have 
ever seen." He calls it a most tempting place for an 
Englishman to settle in, " the land being good enough 
to produce four times as much as it was producing 
under the then system of management." This is as true 
now as it was in 1789; and it may be supposed that 
Young would not now resist the temptation of buying 
- an estate here, to which he then almost yielded, deterred 
only by the dread of buying a share of coming troubles. 
The estate over the offer of which he lingered so 
long, and to the consideration of which he recurred so 
frequently, consists of 3,000 acres. The price was 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAI'S. 333 

£12,000, which included a handsome residence with its 
furniture, two mills, the timber, stock, and implements. 
It was sold during ' the stormy times of the Ee volution 
for £8,000, and again in 1826, for £12,000 and in 
1866 would probably be valued at £24,000, which is still 
only £8 per acre ; and the custom continues of including 
the furniture, stock, and implements in the purchase- 
money. The opening of ample railway communication, 
and the advance in all farming stock since 1866, will 
have greatly increased its value, and at this moment 
(1876), at £8 per acre, nothing but sandy and stony 
land could be got. Allowing for the increase in value, 
land in Bourbonnais is obtainable at a lower price than 
land of a similar quality elsevdiere in France. The 
properties, though not so large as in the poor districts 
of central Franqe, are not small; and as the metayer 
system gives the working farmer an interest in the land, 
without compelling him to purchase, he is not so greedy 
to obtain land at any price as in other parts of the 
country. There are only two departments in which 
there are more metayers. The savings of the farmers 
in Bourbonnais (for savings on a French farm there 
always are) take a different direction to those of other 
parts of France, and money is placed out in shares and 
bonds of railways. In the year 1866 the revenue-col- 
lectors in AUier bought on account of small capitalists 
£60,000 worth of Government stock ; and it is estimated 
that three times that amount passed through the hands 
of bankers the same year. In the Nievre £180,000 were 
invested in various stocks in one year. This oppor- 



334 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

tunity of good investments diminislies tlie amount of 
money obtainable on mortgage, and the small land- 
owner wishing to increase his estate finds it less easy to 
borrow than he did. In 1845, in Allier, £120,000 was 
advanced on mortgage ; in 1866 the amount did not 
reach the half. 

Two instances of what may be done with such land 
may be given : One that of M. de Tracy, who succeeded 
to an estate of 7,500 acres in Bourbonnais about thirty 
years ago, when he took it into his own management. 
One of the farms, which was let in 1847 at £30 per 
annum, brought in, ten years afterwards, £600 net, 
twenty times the old income, with an outlay of £720 
only in money. The other, that of the estate of La 
Salle, which was bought in 1861 by M. Leon Eiant for 
£29,000. Further capital to the extent of £6,000 was 
advanced at various dates ; and when a valuation had to 
be made, in 1872, for a division of the property among 
three brothers, it amounted to more than £68,000. The 
main cause of the increased value was the creation of 
water meadows. These are exceptional cases, though 
examples very similar could be found, not only here, 
but in many other parts of France. 

Success in these examples and the general improve- 
ment of land throughout the country is owdng to the 
increased means of obtaining lime and other fertilisers 
by the construction of railways, and to the application 
of theoretical knowledge of the properties of manures 
and soils, a knowledge far more extensively acquired in 
France than in Ens^land, and the success has been in 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 335 

many cases attained by men who liave had no practical 
knowledge of farming until they had taken possession 
of the land. 

The successful competitor for the prize for good 
cultivation in the department of the Nievre in 1877, 
M. Farjas, exhibited his implements at the show at 
Moulins. They consisted of a complete set of everything 
wanted for farming on a large scale : traction-engine of 
Aveling and Porter, steam plough, steam threshing- 
machine, Crosskill's rollers, Smyth's drills, Howard's 
harrows, mowers, Hornsby's reapers, were all there. It 
was stated that in the department of the Allier alone 
there are now 362 portable steam-engines employed in 
agricultural work. 

The south-western half of the department of the The 

Morvan. 

Nievre is occupied by the granitic range of the Morvan, 
which also covers parts of the departments of Yonne, 
Cote d'Or, and Saone et Loire, extending over a tract of 
country fifty miles long by thirty at its greatest width. 
Fifty years ago it was not traversed by a single high 
road, nor indeed by any road in good repair ; there were 
no bridges, only some trees roughly squared thrown 
across the streams. It is still about the wildest district 
of France, covered with immense forests, full of bright 
streams and foaming waterfalls, totally unsuited to agri- 
culture, and uncultivated, with the exception of some 
small patches of soil on the banks of the streams. The 
inhabitants are as poor and wild as the country, living on 
rye and potatoes, coarsely clad, shod with wooden shoes 



336 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

The at twopence the, pair, and livino' in filthy huts side by 

Morvan. • t i • . i -r i • 

Side with their animals. In the winter they are wood- 
men, busy in the forests preparing timber for floating 
down the streams to supply fuel for Paris, or staves for 
the wine-growers in Burgundy, or charcoal for the 
furnaces at Fourchambault. In summer they do carters' 
work with their marvellously- strong httle bullocks, a 
pair of which will draw commonly a load of over a ton 
and a half of ore, or timber, or staves, or ironwork, 
or charcoal. They are fit for little else, as they are 
extremely difficult to fatten. 

Up to 1830, the whole, or nearly the whole, of this 
work was done by these little Morvan oxen, and none 
could equal them in the strength, courage, and dexterity 
requisite for this work ; none had the hardness of hoof 
essential for traversing the rough tracks, often of bare 
granite rock, which then were the only means of com- 
munication between the forests and the navigable rivers ; 
or could live on the poor food the country suj^plied. 
Since this date good roads have been made across the 
Morvan to all the points to which the produce has to 
be delivered; consequently, the draught-oxen can be 
of a race which, while drawdng hea^^er weights, can 
be readily got into condition for the butcher ; the 
Charolais is, therefore, rapidly displacing the Morvan 
breed. 

The opening of communications, not only by these 
good roads, but also by the canal and the railway, and 
the improved power of floating timber bj^ heading back 
the waters of the streams, have enabled owners to cut 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 337 

down forests, and have bronglit a large expenditure of 
money into the poverty-stricken district. 

Bonrbonnais derives g-reat wealth from its mineral ^^^^^^^^^ 

o bprings. 

springs, which are more numerous and more frequented 
than any others in France. Yichy alone has nearly 
30,000 visitors (26,000 in 1874, and there were more in 
1875 and 1876) during the four months of the season; 
who, if each remains a month, and spends an average of 
a pound a day — which they will do, as the patients are 
from the most wealthy classes of Europe^ — must cause a 
local circulation of not far short of £1,000,000 sterling. 
Cultivation round Yichy is much stimulated by this 
expenditure, and the land, divided into infinitely small 
portions, produces largely. 

AUier is one of the few departments of France which ^op^ia- 

-•■ tion. 

shows an increase of population in the census of 1872 
over that of 1866, and it shows a larger increase — 3*68 
per cent. — than that of any other, except the ISTord, 
which shows 3' 90. The increase is owing to the 
development of the coal-fields of Montlugon and Com- 
mentry; the agricultural population has really dimin- 
ished. The departments next in rank for increase are 
the Loire, 2*12, and Pas de Calais, 1*34; the increase 
in both being referable to the same cause, the 
opening of coal-mines — those of the Loire, at St. 
Etienne, and those of the Pas de Calais, on the frontier 
of the [N^ord. This increase acts upon its neighbour 
Nievre, which increases also, though only 0*98 per cent; 
w 



338 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

Popuia- This, however, places it favourably in comparison with 
France in general. 

Three-fourths of the population are returned as 
rural, and one-fourth urban, but half live collected 
together ; and it may be assumed that the occupations 
of all the three -fourths are not really rural in the same 
acceptation of the word as if they lived in Brittany or 
Normandy. Working in coal-mines or at the iron- 
furnaces can hardly be called rural occupations, and the 
inhabitants are not returned as urban because they do 
not live in towns. There are two towns in Bourbonnais 
of over 20,000 inhabitants — viz., Moulins and Mont- 
lu^on — and one of over 10,000, Commentry ; these two 
latter are in the centre of the coal district. Nivernais 
has only one town over 20,000, the capital, Nevers, 
with 22,000. Three towns in the two provinces average 
less than G,000 ; the others are no bigger than villages. 
The population is small per square mile, being only 
132, against 175 for all France; but this is o^\dng 
to the large tract of forest in the Morvan, wdiich is 
almost uninhabited, and covers nearly a fourth of the 
total area. Allowing for this, the cultivated country 
is well peopled. 



Educa- Education is low ; close upon half the inhabitants 

tion. . 11 '11 

over SIX years old — 49' 9 per cent. — can neither read nor 
write. 



Cattle. One breed of cattle is found almost exclusively in 

Nivernais and Bourbonnais, that from the country of 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS, 339 

Charolais in the adjoining province of Burgundy. They Cattle. 
are noble-looking animals, always white or a pale buff 
colour, excellent workers, strong, hardy, and robust ; 
they fatten well on the open pastures after doing such 
work as is, perhaps, not exceeded by that obtained from 
any other race. 

The breeders in the locality from which this race has 
sprung, and particularly in that part of it called the 
Brionnais, which possesses the most perfect type, are 
especially careful to admit no cross ; it remains the 
same now as it has done for generations, with all its 
qualities and all its faults. At the shows at CharoUes 
the prizes are withheld from any animal with the 
slightest trace of any other breed. The cattle business 
of this country is that of fatting stock on pastures. In 
the Brionnais natural pastures occupy four-fifths of the 
surface, and the land lets at from 50s. to £5 an acre ; 
it will fatten a bullock upon an acre during the summer. 
Stall-feeding is not generally practised, and during the 
winter the stock lose much. They are taken up at the 
end of the summer in very good condition, and turned 
out again in the spring lean and poor. The country 
does not supply nearly enough stock to furnish the 
pastures, and from 10,000 to 15,000 head are purchased 
every spring in the neighbouring districts, particularly 
in Auvergne ; these are generally sold during the 
summer in which they are bought. I^ot more than 
from 1,500 to 2,000 are properly stall-fed through the 
winter, as stall-feeding is not found profitable, and is 
done chiefiy for the sake of the manure : the real profit 
w 2 



340 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 



Cattle. made is from tlie grass-fed beasts. Altlioiigli tlie 
breeders in Charolais are so stringent in their rules 
abont admitting no cross, tbe same men, when buying 
store stock for fatting, admit the advantage that some 
shorthorn blood may give, and they buy more readily 







NIYERXAIS OX. 



the stock that has some of this cross than that which 
keeps more strictly to the old breed. The buyers of 
working- bullocks even are content now to have a little 
shorthorn blood, for they find that the money result is 
better, even if they get oxen that can do less hard 
rough work, as by less pressure of work the condition is 
better kept up, and v^^hen put on grass, or in tlie stall, 
flesb is laid on more rapidl3\ 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 341 

It is in Nivernais that the finest specimens of this Cattle. 
breed of cattle are to be found ; indeed the improvement 
made has justified the adoption of the name as that of a 
distinct breed, called the Nivernais-Charolais. Three 
varieties seem to be acknowledged, as entries are made 
at the shows at Nevers of Charolais, of Nivernais, and 
of Mvernais-Charolais. An outsider could not see in 
what the difference consisted, and it may be that it only 
exists in the fancy of the breeder, as they all compete in 
the class for Nivernais-Charolais. It is significant, how- 
ever, of the difference in race, that the competitors for 
fat stock prizes are all ISTivernais-Charolais, and those in 
teams are all Charolais. 

Charolais cattle were introduced into Nivernais about 
a hundred years ago by a farmer from the district of 
Brionnais, who brought with him all his stock, and 
succeeded so well that many of his neighbours success- 
fully followed his example. These men settled on the 
most suitable spots for laying down permanent grass, and 
they may be said to have created the system of water- 
meadows in the country ; they have brought under 
grass cultivation an immense extent of land which had 
been almost unproductive. The farm of Aunay, when 
taken in hand by M. Antoine Matthieu, a son of the 
first immigrant, fatted sixteen head of stock : it now 
sends upwards of 300 head to the Paris market yearly. 
Another farm, owned by a hospital, of the extent of 750 
acres, was let up to 1864 at £364 per annum: M. 
Paillart now pays £1,440 for it. 

The improvement was for a long time confined to 



342 NIVERNAIS. 

m 

Cattle, care in the s^ lection of sires from tlie same race. It is 
only recently that any infusion of shorthorn blood has 
been admitted ; it is even now admitted in a very slight 
degree and with great care, to avoid the cross showing 
itself in a marked manner. The shorthorns for sires 
are chosen of a pure white colour, and as much as 
possible from those breeds in which the white colour 
descends from parent to child. The increased value of 
meat induces the breeders to look more to the meat- 
producing properties of their stock than they did, and 
at the annual show at Nevers the well-bred Nivernais 
bulls sell readily: there are usually about 140 young 
bulls exhibited. The race is displacing all others in the 
surrounding districts as fast as the improved produce of 
keep allows, and this show has become the regular 
market for the sale of young sires. 

In his account of the show at Moulins, 1877, M. de la 
Trehonnais notices a remarkable instance of perseverance 
on the part of a shorthorn breeder in Bourbonnais. 
" M. Colcombet, living in a district where the Charolais 
breed prevails, set to work to get up a herd of white 
shorthorns. He started by buying the whole of the 
twenty -two volumes of the English Herd Book and every 
volume of the French, and with a patience worthy of a 
Benedictine monk, he traced back from generation to 
generation the accidents of colour in each family. 
With the knowledge thus laboriously acquired he Avas 
able to select his stock with such certainty that the 
most perfect success has rewarded his toil. He is now 
somcAvhere about his fortieth calf, each perfectly white. 



NIVERNAIS. 343 

without a single hair of red or roan appearing in any of Cattle. 
them to upset his calculations or betray his hopes. A 
Booth bull; * Silver Cloud/ has been a great helper in 
this undertaking. This exigence of colour has interfered 
sometimes with quality in the selection of dams, but 
now that M. Colcombet may feel assured of having 
absolutely fixed the colour in his herd, he will be more 
at liberty to turn his attention to perfection of form. 
The stock of ' Silver Cloud ' are remarkable for great 
quality." 

The breed is only successful where the farm produce 
is sufficient to enable the animals to be well fed at all 
seasons ; and as evidence of its capabilities, M. de 
Behague gives the following result of the fattening of 
four Nivernais oxen bred by him : — 





Weight at 
birth. 


Age at sale. 


Weight at 
sale. 


Increase 
per month 


No. 1 .. 


. m lbs. . 


.. 31 montlis . 


.. 1,478 lbs. . 


.. 471 lbs. 


„ 2 .. 


. 70 „ . 


.36 „ . 


.. 1,987 „ . 


• • 551 ,, 


„ 3 .. 


68 „ . 


.. 37 „ . 


. 1,893 „ . 


.. 51i „ 


„,4 .. 


64 „ . 

1 


.. 40 „ . 

1 IT/ 


. 2,079 „ . 
■» 1 1 • 


.. 52 „ 
1 • 11 



These animals were treated from their birth as being 
intended for the butcher, and they w^ere never worked 
at all ; the value of their work was lost. They were 
fed in covered yards in summer, upon lucerne, clover, 
and green maize; in winter in stalls, upon hay, man- 
gold, cabbage, and rutabagas. No. 1 was sold when 
just fat enough for the butcher, the others were pushed 
on to the extreme weight they were likely to reach. 

At the fat-stock shows at Paris, where no qualities 
but those that tend to the production of meat are con- 



344 ■ BOURBONNAIS AND AVVERAAIS, 

Cattle. sidered, the Charolais blood is very triumpliaiit. In 

1874 the first prize was obtained by a cross of the 
Charolais with a shorthorn ; the fourth by a pure 
Charolais ; and the Niyernais carried off more honours 
than any other race — viz., third prize, three supple- 
mentary prizes, one highly commended, and two com- 
mended, and also the first prize for a lot of four. In 

1875 the superiority was still more marked. The first 
prize was a ISTivernais ox five years old, weighing 2,412 
lbs., and the same animal took the prize as the best 
beast in the show; a cow four years old, weigliing 
1,640 lbs., took the first prize among the French breeds, 
and another one that for the best cow in the show : both 
of these were of very fine quality ; the bullock w^as some- 
what coarse. In 1876 the prize for the best ox in the 
show went to a shorthorn- Charolais, thirty-four months 
old, weighing 2,006 lbs., and the prize for the best lot 
of four beasts was taken by some white Charolais from 
thirty-three to thirty-seven months old, weighing an 
average of 1,771 lbs. each. 

The heaviest beast at the London show in 1876 was 
a cross, Scotch and shorthorn, 2,774 lbs., at four years 
old. The first prize shorthorn weighed 2,320 lbs., at 
thirty- eight months. 

It is certainly a triumph for any native French breed 
when it carries off prizes at a fat-stock show against 
shorthorns, because good form and fatting properties 
are the only qualities considered there, and while the 
shorthorns have no recommendation but these, the 
Nivernais are also right good workers. 




E-1 
O 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 345 

At tlie l^evers show in February, 1877, there were Cattle. 
147 young bulls under one year exhibited by forty- seven 
different breeders, all a pure white, and putting out 
about a dozen, all very level in quality : their skins were 
supple, the hair silky, and the general handling good. 
It v/as considered the best show that has yet been held. 
This quantity supposes a larger quantity, three or four 
times as large, of heifers belonging to the same herds, 
and does not nearly represent the wealth of the country 
in such young stock, for none came but those within an 
easy reach of a railway station ; nor did those who sent 
send all they had, and some might be kept back on 
account of the high amount of the entry money, 16s. for 
each head, to be paid at the time of making the entry, 
and no money returned in case of absence, though the 
president declared that he believed if the fee were 
doubled the entries would not decrease. At the same 
show the first prize for animals of any breed under three 
years old went to a shorthorn, six days under the age, 
which weighed 2,016 lbs., but- for those under four 
years it went to a Charolais, aged three years and ten 
months, weighing 2,116 lbs., which also took the cup for 
the best beast in the show, and a first prize in the fol- 
lowing week at Paris, but hardly deserved its position in 
either case : it was overloaded with fat badly placed. The 
second prize of Nevers was a much better animal, but 
hx)t forward enough. This cup animal belonged to M. 
Bellard, who must have a fine herd, as he took the first 
prize also in the class limited to Nivernais-Charolais 
with an ox of four years and two months old, weighing 



346 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

Cattle. 2,096 lbs. ; the second being aged four years and ten 
months, and weighing 2,315 lbs. ; and also the first 
prize for a team of four oxen, each aged six years, the 
lightest weighing 1,992 lbs., the heaviest 2,445. In 
1876 at Paris the cup went to a cross, shorthorn- Charo- 
lais ; but in 1877 a beautiful shorthorn distanced every- 
thing else : its weight was 2,120 lbs., and it was thirty- 
six months old. Some glory, however, shone upon the 
Nievre, as it belonged to one of the leading Nivernais 
breeders, M. Tiersonnier, the owner of the animal placed 
second to the cup animal at Nevers. 

The Nivernais cows are perhaps more perfect than 
the oxen : the first prize at Nevers was also the first 
prize at Paris. She was nearly ten years old, and about 
as good as a cow could be : she had bred regularly, and 
fatted up to a fine level beast. 

M. de la Trehonnais, in his report on the Paris show, 
1877, speaks thus of the Nivernais breed. "The most 
striking part of the show was, in my opinion, the 
marked improvement evident in the Nivernais cattle. 
It is whispered that this is owing to an infusion of 
shorthorn blood. I know nothing as to this, but I say 
with pleasure that I have never seen such an assemblage 
of fine Nivernais cattle as those which formed, un- 
doubtedly, one of the chief ornaments of the show. It 
is, however, in lots that the Charolais race shines out 
best; it should be seen in a herd, and I know of no 
country sight so attractive as that of a large herd of 
Charolais cattle grazing under the foliage of noble trees, 
their white coats standing out against the rich back- 




mmk 



NIVERNAIS. 347 

ground of verdure. Examined separately, tlie Cliarolais, Cattle. 
even the best of them, are less admirable ; they have 
the serious faults inherent in the breed, faults which are 
not yet wholly corrected. Their shoulders are too pro- 
minent, their backs too narrow, their sides too flat, their 
loins and haunches insufficiently developed, their heads 
are heavy, their horns too big, and, in general, they 
want ' quality.' We must not despair of seeing all 
these faults corrected: much progress has already been 
made." This judgment is from a meat-producing 
point of view. The Charolais are workers before they 
go to the shambles, and the prominent shoulders and 
heavy fore hand may be an advantage in working- 
oxen. 

The same severe and friendly critic, all the more 
friendly because severe, says of the show at Moulins, in ' 
Bourbonnais, in May, 1877, "On one side were seven 
yearling shorthorn bulls, and on the other eighteen 
Charolais, whose coats of a brilliant white glistened in 
the sun like satin. This lot of young Charolais was the 
glory of the show. The young shorthorns suffered 
dreadfully by the contrast, with the exception of two. 
It was painful to see them. The shorthorns under two 
years were a much better lot, and among the heifers 
there were some worthy of competing in any show in 
England ; but, from some reason or other, climate, or 
too frequent crossing, the shorthorns, though they keep 
their form, seem to me to want that size which strikes 
one so much in looking at the stock of the best herds 
in England. Recourse ought to be had, I think, more 



348 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

Cattle. frequently to the best specimens of the pnre blood 
of Bates or Booth." 

These cattle-show triumphs do not tempt the 
ordinary farmers to employ directly the shorthorn as a 
cross. They say the constitution of the Charolais is 
weakened by too much aiming at early maturity. The 
cows do not bear so well, or for so many years, and mis- 
carry more frequently. The sKorthorn blood is, how- 
ever, introduced through the Nivernais sires, and a 
greater breadth of meat is obtained ; but it would be a 
great mistake to look for as valuable an animal as a 
worker in the improved as in the old breed. Partly 
owing to this improvement, but greatly to the care be- 
stowed upon the animals, which are now better fed, 
worked less severely, and put up to fatten younger than 
formerly, Mvernais now sends as many as 20,000 head 
of fat stock yearly to Paris. Bourbonnais approaches 
this : the farmers holding their lands under lease, prefer 
devoting their energies and their capital to rearing stock, 
rather than to the improvement of their land, which 
would, perhaps, not be more immediately profitable, and 
might lead to an increase in the rent. 

As the land is getting better cultivated, cattle are 
being bred for the butcher only, without reference 
to work, to some extent, and the shorthorn is used with 
increasing freedom. At the sale of the government herd 
at Corbon, on the 19th May, 1877, out of ten shorthorn 
bulls sold, five went to the Bourbonnais. 

The business of grazing in Nivernais has been greatly 
assisted by the action of the Bank of France, the director 



mvERNAis, 349 

of the Nevers branch., M. Griraud, having alone of all ^^^^^®' 
the directors of the various branches of the bank through 
France discounted the paper of the breeders and graziers. 
During the six years, 1869 — 1875, he has advanced over 
£2,600,000 on such bills, without a single one having 
been dishonoured at maturity. 

While the final object of cattle is that they should 
be eaten, and while the preparing them for the butcher 
is so important a business, the immediate use of the 
Charolais ox is that he should work. The country of 
JSTivernais is very hilly, and the soil is sticky, so that 
road and field labour are very difficult. Upwards of 
11,000 bullocks are employed delivering fuel and ore at 
the great iron-works of Forchambault. Two-thirds of 
these are Charolais, and they will travel twelve to twenty 
miles a day, a pair dragging a two-wheeled cart, with a 
load of a ton and a half, sometimes with as much as tv/o 
tons and a half, being fed only with from 8 to 10 lbs. of 
hay, and passing the night in meadows where there is often 
very little for them to eat. At from four to six 
years of age, after this rough treatment and hard work, 
they are prepared for the butcher on the natural pastures; 
not always of a very rich nature ; in four or ^^ months 
they are in condition for market, with no more nourish- 
ment than they obtain in the open fields, root and meal 
feeding not being generally practised in Nivernais. The 
use of working-oxen is so great in this country that it is 
quite usual to see 2,500 pair on sale at one time at the 
fairs of Autun and Chateau Chinon. They are much 
bought for the north, where they are used in working 



350 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNA2S. 

Cattle, the land for the cultivation of beet-root, and when the 
work is done they are fatted off on the pulp. 

With this great power of working, only equalled by 
the breed of Limousin and Salers, and possessing far 
greater qualities for the butcher than these, it is easy to 
understand that the breeders should hesitate about 
making use of any cross which would tend to diminish 
the value of their stock for that purpose for which they 
are primarily required. 

As regards the quality of the beef, the general 
opinion is in favour of the superiority of the Charolais 
over the shorthorn, or that the cross will produce, in the 
first generation, meat of a superior quality to that of 
either of the breeds separately. This improvement by 
a cross is acknowledged in the case of all the other 
Trench breeds, but it is insisted that any cross gives 
better meat than the shorthorn pure. 

Sheep. Though Nivernais and Bourbonnais have not so 

thoroughly adopted sheep-rearing as, according to 
Arthur Young's judgment, they should do, the former 
province takes the lead in producing sheep that are used 
throuofh the centre of Prance to cross with the local 
breeds. The Comte de Bouille's flock of Southdowns at 
Yillars, near Nevers, is as good as any flock in England, 
now that that of Jonas Webb is dispersed. M. Signoret, 
M. Noblet, and M. Tiersonnier have some of the best 
Leicesters that can be got from England. M. Signoret 
bought the prize Leicester at the show at Hull in IS 73, 
at the price of £120, from Mr. Turner, of Thorpeland, 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 351 

Nortliampton. Anotlier flock of Sontlidowns, that of ®^®®P- 
M. NoTiette Delorme, at Ouzouer les Champs, in Loiret, 
north of the Loire, equals that of M. de. Bonille in 
quality (they seem to take prizes alternately at the 
shows), but is not quite as large. The extended use 
of rams from these flocks must be telling upon the 
character of French sheep, as they let or sell freely ; but 
it is of comparatively recent date, and began with the 
Paris Exhibition of 1855, at which a pen of Jonas 
Webb's attracted great attention. The word Southdown 
was in everybody's mouth, the reality was wanted there 
also, and soon Southdowns were to be seen in all the 
sheep-breeding districts. Want of care, and want of 
judgment, caused disappointments to be very general; 
but M. de Bouille came over to England several times to 
study the characteristics of the breed, and to seek advice 
from Jonas Webb, who told him that the Southdowns 
were so hardy that they would stand anything, '' even 
French management." M. de Bouille began in 1855 
with fifteen ewes in lamb, which cost him, delivered on 
his estate, more than £16 each. These he attended to 
himself, as he did not care to entrust the experiment to 
a shepherd who would probably be prejudiced in favour 
of his own system, and it was essential to learn under 
what conditions it would be necessary to have these 
sheep reared in France. The first year passed over 
favourably, and in 1856 and 1857 a further purchase 
was made of a fine ram and fifty-five ewes, and the flock 
has flourished ever since. 

As it would be impossible for the sheep to be out of 



352 NIVERNAIS. 

Cattle. doors Continually in tlie Nievre, on account of the 
danger from wolves, M. de Bouille keeps Ms sheep in 
enclosed yards, with covered sheds round them, and they 
are led out to pasture every day ; they are fed on green 
food, cake, bruised oats, hay, and mangold. Under this 
careful management they do not degenerate, though 
there seems a very general opinion that Southdov/ns, or 
indeed any of our breeds, whether of sheep or cattle, do 
degenerate, either from the effects of French manage- 
ment, or from those of the climate. The sheep at M. 
de Bouille's are weighed on the first of each month. 
They weigh 11 pounds at birth: the rams weigh 150 
pounds at a year old, and 225 pounds at two years old; 
the ewes weigh 121 pounds at a year old, and 150 
pounds at two years old. Put up to fat as soon as 
weaned, the sheep weigh 95 pounds at six months old ; 
123 pounds at nine months, and 154 pounds at a year 
old. The fleeces of the males at twelve months old 
averaged 11 pounds. The flock now consists of 700 
head; about 60 rams and 100 ewes are sold 3'early; the 
annual loss from death averages 3 per cent. A 
hundred and twelve gold medals, besides many silver 
ones, and ten silver cups, testify to the success of M. de 
Bouille at the shows. 

Cuitiva- This improvement in the quality of both the cattle 

and sheep, which is very general and important, proves 
that there is a corresponding improvement in the 
herbage or roots grown to feed them with. In Nievre, 
grass land, artificial and natural, has increased from 



tion. 



BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 353 

177,000 acres in 1840 to over 300,000 at the present 
time, and in Bourbonnais from 140,000 to nearly 
200,000. The railways have brought manures, and 
taken away the produce of the farm at good prices ; 
fallows have diminished ; waste lands have been brought 
into cultivation ; beetroot sugar-works have been estab- 
lished ; artificial and water meadows have been formed ; 
and the energy noted in the great steps made in the 
growth of cattle and sheep must be understood as pene- 
trating every part of the farm, and not as being confined 
to the feeding-box and the sheep-fold. 

The number of horses in the district is small, all the Horses. 
farming- work being done by bullocks ; but endeavours 
are being made to improve the breed. The Societe 
d' Agriculture of the department buys about four fine 
horses for sires yearly, and sells them on the day of the 
cattle- show at Nevers, on condition that they shall re- 
main in the department for six years, and not serve any 
mares except those belonging to breeders in the depart- 
ment. These sires cost the Societe about £160 each, 
and there is usually a loss of half the money on the sale. 
The sort chosen hitherto has been the black Percheron 
usually; and it is hoped that the Nivernais will become as 
celebrated for its breed of black horses as it is for that 
of its white cattle. The local horses seem less heavy than 
the Percheron, and the farmers' traps filling the inn- 
yards on the show-day were somewhat light four-wheeled 
carrioles, not heavy two -wheeled covered carts, as in the 
Beauce ; so they may breed some good trotting nags. 

X 



Horses. 



354 BOURBONNAIS AND NIVERNAIS. 

At tlie show in February, 1877, three Percherons (two 
black, one dark bay) and one black Boulonnais were 
sold; three of them stood 16i hands, and one \1\. 
They were grand animals, very active, and lifted their 
legs well. During the season of 1875, these sires 
covered an average of ninety-five mares each, those 
from the Grovernment studs only fifty. 



GATINAIS AND BEAUCE. 



*' One universal flat, unenclosed, uninteresting, and even tedious ; 
though, small towns and villages are everywhere in sight, the features 
that might compose a landscape are not brought together. The Pays 
de Beauce contained by reputation the cream of French husbandry ; 
the soil excellent, but the management all fallow; every acre would 
admit the exclusion of fallows with as much propriety as Flanders 
itself."— Young, 1787. 

" The soil is a rich loam on a white marl." — Young, 1787. 



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GATINAIS AND BEAUCE. 357 

Gratinais and Beauce are two countries absolutely 
distinct in soil and cultivation ; but tbey occupy con- 
jointly so much of tbe department of the Loiret that 
they must be considered together, in order that the 
returns of population, acreage, and crops may be made 
use of. The description of the agriculture of a country 
cannot be made to bend to the lines drawn for admin- 
istrative purposes ; and in the district now under con- 
sideration the difference between the natural and legal 
divisions is greater than usual. In France, generally, 
they are remarkably in unison. 



Bounded by the Loire on the south, with the Beauce Forest of 
on the north-west, and the Gatinais on the east, but 
belonging to neither, is the large Forest of Orleans, 
100,000 acres in extent, the largest in France. It is 
the property of the state. No part rises to any great 
elevation, 500 to 600 feet at the most. There is much 
fine timber in it, almost exclusively oaks, hornbeams, 
and birch ; game is said to be abundant, and wild 
animals — boars, wolves, foxes, stags, roedeer, badgers, 
polecats, and martens — exist in considerable numbers. 
The marshes and ponds are frequented by gulls, divers, . 
teal, and kingfishers, and in winter by wild geese and 
ducks. 



Between the forest and the Loire, the cultivation is Yaiiey of 
the same as that general in the valley of that river, 
except that much of the produce of the vineyards is 



358 GATINAIS. 

converted into vinegar, with results as to profit not 
inferior to tliose of the grand wines of Burgundy and 
Bordeaux, and that among the vines asparagus is largely 
grown, to the extent of 7,000 acres, which brings the 
cultivation up to the standard of large farming ; and 
the heads rival in size those enormous ones for which 
the growers of Argenteuil, near Paris, have so long 
been famous. 

Gatinais. Gatinais, Gatines, is a name not unfrequent in 

many parts of France, and is applied to countries where 
there is much waste land and sandy heath ; but there 
is only one recognised country of the Gatinais, as there 
is only one Champagne, though that name is applied 
to any level open table-land — as the champagne in 
Charente, where the grapes that make the best brandy 
are grown. Gatinais was never a separate province like 
Champagne, but belonged partly to the Duchy of 
Nemours — that part called the Gatinais Prang ais, con- 
sisting of 250,000 acres, in the department of Seine-et- 
Marne — and partly to the Duchy of Orleans — that part 
now in the department of the Loiret, and consisting of 
750,000 acres. 

Placed between the miserable Sologne and the 
monotonous Beauce, the Gatinais gains much by con- 
trast with its neighbours, but it is in itself a very 
pleasant country to reside in. Some of the open lands 
are poor, chalky, and dry, but there are many valleys, 
with bright streams and large meres. Without any 
great hills (the highest is under 700 feet), the scenery is 



GAT IN A IS. ' ■ 359 

varied and agreeable, broken by sandy billocks, covered 
with heatber, and 

" blossomed furze unprofitably gay," 



and topped witb fir-trees, mucb resembling parts of 
Surrey, but with more water, and the addition of 
piles of sandstone rocks, forming cool glades, and with 
two large forests — that of Fontainebleau, of 45,000 
acres, with its 1,200 miles of roads and footpaths, and 
that of Montargis, 22,000 acres. 

The streams and ponds are well stocked with fish, in 
spite of the presence of numerous otters; the pike, barbel, 
and crayfish are especially celebrated. Gatinais honey, 
made by the bees which feed on the heather, has a wide 
reputation. Vegetables, fruits, and flowers are abundant 
and good. Botanists find here specimens of plants 
which are met with nowhere else north of Provence. 
It seems an outpost of the flora of the south of Europe ; 
and wanderers in the forest of Fontainebleau are some- 
times surprised by the unwelcome presence of the viper. 
In 1875 as many as 1,867 vipers were destroyed in 
this forest, and officially reported ; 834 by the keepers 
and 1,033 by other people. From time immemorial, a 
reward of twenty-five francs has been paid to the man 
who brought the most heads to the town-hall. The 
winner in 1875 brought 379, the next on the list was 
for 89. 

Every grape-producing country concedes to Fontaine- Grapes. 
bleau the honour of growing the most perfect out-door 



360 GATINAIS. 

Grapes. \^2^Aq grapes, the Chasselas. Three hundred acres, 
divided into spaces by walls about forty-five to fifty 
feet apart, alternately eight feet and six and a-half 
feet high, send annually to Paris 1,350 tons of grapes, 
besides providing for a large local consumption, and 
dispatching some quantities to foreign countries. The 
quantity named is about one-seventh of the annual con- 
sumption of grapes in Paris. This remarkable result 
is not owing to any peculiar advantage either of soil or 
chmate, for many other parts of France are equally 
favoured by climate, and the soil is somewhat cold and 
stifi", but it is produced by a skilful system of training 
and pruning, and treatment while ripening, brought to 
perfection by the accumulated experience of a century. 
The bunches are carefully thinned, the leaves and 
tendrils gradually cleared away, and when fully ripe 
the last leaves are removed and the bunches turned 
daily, so that the sun may give that golden colour, 
streaked with brown, which adds so much to the value 
of the produce. These grapes find their way to most 
of the capitals of Europe, and reward the care and labour 
of the growers with a money return of from £16,000 
to £20,000 annually. A dealer in plants here advertises 
as many as 200 varieties of the Chasselas grape. 

Land. Two liours' journey from Paris, with land not rich 

enough to induce high farming, like Brie, nor poor 
enough to tempt to experimental farming, like Sologne, 
Gratinais is much inhabited by those who seek rural life 
a« a life of enjoyment, not of duty. Numerous mode- 



GATINAIS, 361 

rate-sized houses dot the country, with whose owners, 
when in residence, it is " always afternoon." Artists 
monopohse the humble lodgings and inns in the villages 
round the forest of Fontainebleau ; and landscape-painters 
have drawn their inspiration, improved their practice, 
and developed a taste for nature among the dwellers in 
cities for the last fifty years from scenes in the Gatinais, 
and continue to do so, as shown by the number of 
scenes from the forest of Fontainebleau at the Salon of 
1877. 

"But life is not all "idlesse" here, any more than 
it is elsewhere in France. Those Parisian men of busi- 
ness whose hardest work during their summer residence 
or their Sunday's outing is budding roses, are active 
tradesmen, models of industry and prudence during six 
days of the week. Those artists whose labour seems to 
the rustics little better than doing nothing, or even 
hardly that, have made themselves names through the 
world by their industry. Those Chasselas grapes, which 
seem types of ease and luxury, are produced by sheer 
hard work from the earliest rising of the sun, when 
they must be uncovered to feel its first rays, to the 
last moment of the evening, when the shelter must be 
replaced, to protect them from frost. 

Gatinais has one especial cultivation, that of Saffron. 
saffron. Two thousand acres around Chateau Landon 
and Nemours produce almost the whole of this article 
grown in France ; there are not, indeed, three acres of 
it grown elsewhere. The root lasts three years, and the 



362 GATINAIS, 

Saffron. aniiTial value of the growth averages about £30,000, but 
the crop is uncertain. A good year is a fortune for the 
country. It is a plant that calls for continual care and 
much labour. The flowers are gathered in autumn, 
usually in October, and must be taken just at their 
prime : if allowed to fade their value is greatly dete- 
riorated, so the gathering is often continued far into 
the night; and it is the more difficult, as it must be 
made just at the height o£ the vintage, when hands are 
so fully employed. 

Cattle. 'j'j^e general standard of farming in Gatinais is low. 

There is no local breed of cattle of any sort. All kinds 
are commonly purchased, not reared. Horned stock con- 
sists chiefly of cows for milking, and sheep of the small 
breed from Berri. 

Jerusalem The land is too poor for beet. Jerusalem artichokes 

Artichokes 

take its place. They grow wdiere no other root would 
prosper, or at least prosper so well. The yield varies 
very much. On sandy soils of fair quality, where they 
are planted for the first time, the yield is ten tons to 
the acre. If there is any mixture of clay it would reach 
twelve to fourteen tons, but upon poor thin soils it drops 
as low as four tons, or even less. Gasparin places the 
yield much higher; he states it as equalling twenty- 
four tons to the acre; the Encyclopedia at nineteen tons. 
A piece of good soil was planted in March in rows 
twenty- seven inches wide, and the sets sixteen inches 
apart in the rows, making 14,000 to the acre. The 
yield at the end of November from thirty plants, when 



GATINAIS. 363 

the land was nnmanured from the previous year, was Jerusalem 
1 cwt. 9 lbs. Thirty others, taken from land manured 
at the time of planting, weighed 1 cwt. 5 lbs. ; each 
plant, therefore, gave an average of about four pounds 
of roots, equal to twenty-five tons per acre. Twenty- 
seven inches is too wide a space for the rows to be 
separated. Had they been eighteen inches, the yield 
in the same proportion would have been much greater. 
The question of width in the rows is, however, not 
important, as the artichoke grows for a number of years 
on the same ground, the small ones that escape notice 
when the crop is removed being quite sufficient to stock 
it. The difficulty of clearing the ground is stated to be 
an objection, but it becomes none if the same ground be 
kept devoted to their production. If it should become 
necessary to clear it, cutting down the shoots twice 
would suffice ; or if they were eaten off by sheep, which 
are very fond of them, they would disappear, and pigs 
would grub up the roots. 

^ One ton of the roots is reckoned to equal half a ton 
of meadow hay, and a ton of the stalks and leaves nearly 
the third of a ton of hay. An ordinary produce of ten 
tons of roots and four tons of stalks and leaves per acre 
would give a yield equalling six tons of hay, which is 
good from poor land and with little manure. This is 
evidently a very useful root where beet cannot be 
grown. It comes on any soil, provided that it be not 
too wet. It yields a crop on dry, flinty, stony, chalky 
land, where no other root would grow. Some sets were 
planted in shingle, not much, if anything, better than 



364 GATINAIS, 

Jerusalem sucli sliingle as WG SGG Oil the coast. The stalks did not 
grow a yard high, and died off early from the heat, but 
they gave 1 lb. per plant, which, at 20,000 to the acre, 
would amount to about ten tons. The trouble and ex- 
pense of gathering them from such a seed-bed would be 
too great to make the growth profitable. The artichoke 
does not exhaust the soil in inferior land, requires very 
little labour, and the roots can be left in the ground and 
taken up when wanted. It is not attacked by any 
insect, nor does it seem, subject to any disease. It fears 
no frost, and requires no such care as beet, and the great 
growth of stalk, seven to eight feet in height, smothers 
all weeds. In some soils it would be superior to maize, 
as the upper growth would give as much as maize, and 
there would be the roots in addition. The stalks and 
leaves are much liked by cattle, and especially by sheep, 
and they could probably be preserved, as maize is pre- 
served, for winter food. The roots are more nourishing 
than beet, and nearly as much so as potatoes. They 
suit growing stock from the quantity of mineral they 
contain, and both fattening and milking stock do well 
upon them. It is the richest of roots in sugary matters, 
but the sugar does not crystallise. It can, therefore, 
only be used for making spirits, of which it yields 
nearly as much as potatoes, and far more than beet, but 
of all roots so used it is the most delicate. It changes 
very much by exposure to the air, and must be worked 
up as soon as possible after being dug. The same 
watchfulness throughout the process is essential, or the 
yield of spirit will fall off one-third. The juice also 



GATINAIS. 365 

rapidly deteriorates unless properly managed. ISTor is ^*^^™^^^®j^ 
the pulp, of which. 62 per cent, of the weight is re- 
turned, so readily taken by cattle as that from beet. 
The larger yield of spirit from the artichoke over that 
obtained from beet does not counterbalance its disad- 
vantages where beet can be grown, but it is useful on 
the poor soils of the Gatinais. The distillery estab- 
lished here consumes thirty tons of root per day, and 
the cost of the plant was £80 for every ton so used, 
£2,400. 

At Dammarie in Gatinais, Montereau on the borders Milk, 
of Gatinais and Brie, and at Monerville in the Beauce, 
are establishments for collecting milk for the supply of 
Paris, all belonging to M. Lecomte, one of the largest 
wholesale milk-dealers. Before the introduction of rail- 
ways the supply was necessarily procured in the imme- 
diate neighbourhood, but as the means of more rapid 
communication were furnished, the supply was sought 
for at a greater distance, and large dairies were formed 
which collect milk from neighbouring farms, prepare it, 
and forward it to Paris. 

The daily consumption of Paris is estimated to be 
75,000 gallons, of which the large dealers supply 
50,000 to 55,000, 10,000 coming from milk-dealers near 
Paris, and 15,000 from cowkeepers within the town 
itself. The consumption is usually at its maximum in 
the months of November, March, April, and May. It 
varies with the temperature, and is largest when the 
weather is coolest, but diminishes during the other 



366 GA TINA IS. 

Milk, months, especially during tlie hottest, or when there is 
a large supply of fruit. 

From the middle of October to the 1st of June, 95 
per cent, of the quantity of m.ilk sent up to Paris finds 
buyers, but during the other naonths the sale falls off to 
about 70 or 80 per cent, of the quantity forwarded. 

The surplus unsold is disposed of among the miakers 
of cream cheeses. Some of the larger dealers have 
establishments of their own where the unsold milk is 
thus utilised. 

The milk-dealers pay to the farmers prices varying 
from about Id. to 1-id. for the litre, which is equal 
to If pints, collecting it at the farmers' doors. The 
price is lowest from June to November, when it 
seldom reaches Id. 

It is sold to the Paris dealers, delivered at their 
doors, at 2d. to 2id., according to the season, and 
retailed to the public at 2-i to 3d. for the same measure 
of If pints. 

The milk from the dairies inside Paris is generally 
sold retail at 3id. to 4d. ; if drawn directly from the cow 
to the buyer, it is charged 5d. to 6d. ; in certain wealthy 
quarters the price runs up to 7id., and even lOd. for the 
litre. 

In order that the milk may keep in good condition 
for at least twenty-four hours, special preparation and 
care are required, particularly during the hot season. 

The carts employed in collecting the milk from the 
farmers are constructed of open lattice-work, so that 
there may be a free circulation of air between the cans. 



GATJNAIS. 



367 



It is collected morning and evening, and tlie two united ^^^^• 
collections are forwarded each, evening to Paris. 

The morning's milk, having to wait twelve hours 
before being mixed with, that of the evening, is sub- 
jected to a double operation : — First, it is placed in cans 
in a bath of hot water, so as to raise the temperature of 
the milk up to about 206*^. Secondly, it is cooled as 
rapidly as possible, and kept at a low temperature until 
the evening. 

In the hot-water bath the water is kept at boiling- 
point ; and provided the volume of hot water be seven 
or eight times that of the milk to be heated, and the 
number of cans to be heated at least a dozen, the opera- 
tion goes on as fast as the cans can be removed and re- 
placed — that is to say, that by the time the last can is 
removed the one that replaced the first one is ready, and 
the work proceeds uninterruptedly. The cans for the 
bath are specially made to fit the holes, so the hot milk 
is poured into other cans, which are removed immediately, 
and placed in iron cisterns, through which runs a stream 
of cold water, and there they are left until the evening 
milk arrives. This also is subjected to the same process 
of cooling, and in about an hour the temperature of the 
evening milk is reduced to an equality with that of the 
morning, and the two can be safely mixed. 

This mixing is performed in a circular tank, capable 
of containing 300 to 1,000 quarts, according to the 
size of the dairy. The tank stands upon a wooden 
tripod, high enough to admit of cans being placed under 
a couple of large taps, and the morning and evening's 



368 G A TIN A IS. 

Milk, milk is poured in equal quantities at tlie same moment 
tlirough a sieve placed in the middle of tlie tank, so tliat 
a complete mixture of tlie milkings is ensured, and 
an even quality of milk is delivered to tlie consumer. 
The milk is frequently tested, hut as it would. he mani- 
festly impossihle to test the milk of every farmer twice a 
day, this mixing reduces the injury of any possible 
adulteration, or watering, called by the French ''length- 
ening," to a minimum. 

The cans for delivery are filled as rapidly as pos- 
sible, the close-fitting covers are put on, and over them is 
tied a string sealed Avith the seal of the dairy, and they 
are sent off to the railway station between seven and 
eleven o'clock, according to the distance from Paris, in 
vans with lattice -work sides. The rail way- wagons are 
specially built for the purpose, the sides and flooring 
being of open-work. They arrive in Paris about two 
o'clock a.m., where they are received by the carts be- 
longing to the dealers, each driver taking the quantity 
requisite for his own rounds, and collecting the empty 
cans on the return journey. 

During the cold weather, when the external air 
does not exceed 50^, it is unnecessary to heat the 
morning milk, it is then only kept standing in the cool 
running Avater ; and during the extreme heat of summer 
the temperature is reduced, before it is forwarded by 
rail, as much as possible. Sometimes it is passed 
throuorh a mass of broken ice : some small but uiiim- 
portant quantity of water is by this means added to the 
milk ; but M. Lecomte has set up in two of his dairies 



G A TINA IS, 369 

freezing-macliines, wliicli bring the milk to within two MHk. 
degrees of freezing-point. The temperature is raised 
very shghtly during the transit to Paris, and, provided 
the milk be kept in a cool place, it keeps sound for 
twenty-four hours. 

In order to utilise the excess of milk taken under 
contract frora the farmers, M. Lecomte has established a 
manufactory of cheese at Villeneuve, near the largest of 
his dairies, that of Montereau. The cheese made is 
an imitation Grruyere, and when the excess is at its 
height as many as nineteen cheeses are made daily, 
each weighing about half a hundredweight, requiring 
eighty gallons, or a total of about 1,500 gallons. 
There are five copper caldrons, each capable of hold- 
ing 100 gallons, but eighty only are used, as the 
cheeses are kept as nearly as may be of the same size, 
and half a hundredweight stems that most suitable for 
the Paris market. There is no pretence that the quality 
of these cheeses is equal to that of the Gruyere made 
in Switzerland, nor will they keep as long. They are 
forwarded to market as soon as they are ready, which 
is in about two and a-half months in summer and four 
months in winter. They are of good useful quality, 
and sell readily enough at from 6d. to 7id. per lb., 
wholesale, which is much below the price of the true 
Gruyere. In order to obtain this price the cheeses 
must be perfect — that is, in ere must be a sufficiency of 
holes in them, but not t'^o many. These holes are 
caused by the fermentation of the moisture left in the 
cheese. Too much moisture causes an excess of fer- 



370 G A TINA IS. 

MilTc. mentation, the cheese is full of holes, swells out, and 
becomes unsalable. With too little moisture there is a 
deficiency of fermentation, the cheese has few holes, is 
cracked, dry, and tasteless, and sells at a low price. 

M. Lecomte makes about 1,500 cwt. in the course of 
the year. The profit, even if all the cheeses turned out 
well, would be trifling; and subject to the deductions 
caused by imperfect manufacture, it is almost oiil : the 
only real profit shown from the operation is in the sale 
of young pigs fatted wholly on the whey. As many as 
250 are kept, and are fit for market at ten or twelve 
months old. 

The money operation of milk- dealing comes out 
thus : — 

Cost at tlie farmer's door, the dealer collecting the milk ... 5d. per gallon. 

Expenses : — Collection, heating, railway carriage, delivery ^ 

in Paris, wear and tear of plant, loss by sour milk, v 4d. „ 

and conversion to cream cheese J 

Profit to the dealer id. „ 

Some of the large dealers sell upwards of 10,000 gallons 
a day, which leaves a profit approaching to £15 per 
day to meet interest of capital, bad debts, expense of 
superintendence, and reimbursement of the cost of 
buildings. 

Pure milk, free from any manipulation, is not for a 
certainty obtainable in Paris more than in London. In 
the first place, the heating process in some degree 
changes its quality, though without injuring it for 
ordinary consumption ; it is sold at much less money 
than it could be if not supplied from a distance ; and it 



GATINAIS, 371 

could not be kept sound without being heated. . The Milk. 
makers of ices do not use milk so heated ; they prefer 
that brought in from the immediate neighbourhood. In 
extremely hot weather, or when there is much thunder 
about, the larger dealers use a solution of bi-carbonate of 
soda, three ounces and a half being dissolved in a pint 
and three quarters of hot, but not boiling water ; one- 
fifth of a pint of this solution is added to four gallons 
and a half of milk, which, if adhered to, cannot sensibly 
increase its bulk ; but in the hands of greedy or ignorant 
persons, who do not keep strictly to the quantity, there 
is danger of the quality being reduced. This danger 
becomes actual when the milk is skimmed, or when water 
is added. To conceal the effect of these practices, various 
preparations are used to thicken it or restore the rich- 
ness of colour, such as brown extract of chicory, burnt 
sugar, colouring-matter from the flowers of the marigold, 
almond-paste, decoctions of hay, corn or potato flour. 
These deceptions have been practised on a large scale, 
and still remain serious, though diminished through 
the vigilance of the public authorities. Samples taken 
frequently are analysed, and prosecutions seldom fail. 
As the quality of milk, however, does vary without any 
fraud on the part of the dealer, the extreme of quality is 
never insisted upon ; and whereas good milk should con- 
tain 13 per cent, of solid matter, such as caseine, butter, 
sugar, &c., of which butter should be 4 per cent., no 
conviction takes place if the samples show a minimum 
of Hi per cent, of solid matter, and 3 per cent, of 
butter. 

y2 



372 GAT IN A IS, 

Milk. This watchfulness on the part of the authorities is 
having a good effect ; and whereas in 1871 no less than 
44 per cent, of the milk delivered by the railways was 
"sophisticated," in 1872 the proportion was reduced to 
34 per cent., and in 1873 to 10 per cent. In the retail 
distribution the fraud was more serious, and still remains 
so : in 1871, the proportion of falsified milk was 53 per 
cent.; in 1872,44 percent. ; inl873, 34 per cent., which 
shows that much remains to be done to ensure a supply 
of pure milk to Paris. 

BEAXJCE. 

Between the basins of the Seine and the Loire is a 
large plain, about sixty miles by forty, extending over 
the greater part of the department of Eure-et-Loir, into 
that of Loiret, into Seine-et-Oise, and into Loir-et-Cher, 
from 400 to 500 feet above the level of the sea, but 
nowhere showing any perceptible elevations. This plain 
is the great corn and sheep producing country of the 
Beauce. 

In noting the statistics having reference to this 
country, those only of the departments of Loir-et-Cher, 
Loiret, and Eure-et-Loir can be quoted, because that 
portion of Beauce that is in Seine-et-Oise would be too 
greatly influenced by the more rich and populous portion 
of that department ; and tbough this restriction prevents 
the figures being exactly correct, they represent more 
truly the condition of Beauce than if the whole of Seine- 
et-Oise had been included. Portions, again, of Eure-et- 
Loir, and of Loir-et-Cher, are not really Beauce : some of 



BEAUCE. 373 

the first is in Perche, and some of the second in Yendo- 
mois, hoth conntrie^ essentially differing from Beauce, 
being broken up into valleys, and traversed by two rivers, 
the Huisne and the Loir, and their tributaries, contrast- 
ing by their rich meadows, bright streams, and wooded 
heights, with the monotony of Beauce. The northern 
part of the department, again, is not Beauce, it is much 
better watered, and has some large forests ; but though 
differing physically from Beauce, the amount of popula-^ 
tion and the condition of the people do not greatly differ ; 
only the acreage of grass, waste, and woods, as given in 
the returns, must be considered as being in these out- 
lying districts, and not in Beauce itself. 

There is a tradition that there were once forests and Soil. 
streams in the Beauce, but the forests were cut down 
ages ago, so long ago that in the sixth century a 
bishop of Poitiers of that date could write of the Beauce, 
that it wanted but six things — springs, meadows, woods, 
stone, fruit-trees, and vines : every one of these things 
is wanting now, and is likely to be wanting after the 
lapse of another twelve centuries. The streams have 
dried up. The few watercourses on the borders seem to 
hasten away from the inhospitable country as quickly as 
possible. They rise now some miles away from what 
was once evidently their origin. Miserable little ponds, 
which shrink and disappear as the summer heats prevail, 
leave the country dependent upon deep wells which yield 
their water as it were drop by drop. 

Without trees, except here and there a small planta- 



374 BEAUCE.. 

tion, a fe\^f fruit-trees round the farmliouses, and some 
stunted and twisted elms by the dusty roadside ; the 
foot-paths and roads as straight as they can "be drawn, 
losing themselves in the distance ; a horizon as exten- 
sive as that of the open sea ; windmills, farmsteads, 
and stacks ; villages of the most unattractive type, but 
numerous ; many churches, ten or fifteen being within 
sight at one time, such is the Beauce, which is, how- 
ever, never mentioned by Frenchmen without a feeling 
of pride, justified by the fact that it is one of the richest 
and best-cultivated corn-producing tracts of land in 
Europe. 

The subsoil of the Beauce is almost wholly chalk, 
with a surface soil very rarely as deep as three feet. 
This latter has good consistency without being stifi", re- 
quires no artificial drainage, and can stand any amount 
of rain, contrasting in this respect with its neighbour 
Brie, where the immediate subsoil is clay. " The 
Beauce laughs when Brie weeps " is an old saying in 
the country, but upon the whole Brie grieves less than 
Beauce has cause to do, over-wet seasons being the 
exception in France. 

Crops. Wheat, oats, of which Beauce has the largest acreage 
in France, and winter barley, are the main corn-crops, 
which are much less liable to be laid here than they 
are on the richer and higher farmed land in Brie, a 
danger ever present to the mind of the farmer in the 
latter country. The recent introduction of artificial 
manures is greatly aiding the Beauce farmer, but the 



BEAUCE. 375 

improvement of the land is less in Beauce than else- Crops 
where, because there was less opportunity for it. It re- 
quired no draining as the stiifer and wetter land of Brie, 
nor have there been for generations any waste lands to 
reclaim as in Brittany and central France ; but Beauce 
has kept pace with the rest of France in improvement in 
cultivation, for whereas the average growth of wheat 
was returned in 1840 as being 18| bushels per acre, 
it is now returned as 22 1. Wheat production is as 
irregular here as elsewhere, or even more so. It varied 
from 6i bushels per acre in the bad year of 1871 to 
261 bushels in the good year of 1872. In 1874 it was 
estimated at 30 bushels per acre, and in 1875 at 20. 
In 1873 the gross return in money was only £5 lis. 2d. 
per acre. These great fluctuations derange seriously the 
calculations of farmers, and the inconvenience is not 
compensated by any material advance in value in the 
years of short supply over that of years of abundance. 
The price of wheat seems fixed at a certain low limit, 
which cannot be exceeded, let the crop be as small as it 
well can be, but it may go down very considerably below 
that limit. These irregular and unsatisfactory results are 
leading to attempts being made to introduce the culti- 
vation* of what may be used in manufactures. Writers 
in the agricultural papers point out how large is the 
production of wheat in Eussia and America, where the 
difficulties of want of labour and the distance from 
the markets of western Europe are being overcome by 
the enormous increase of agricultural machinery, and 
the great development of rail and steam communica" 



376 BEAUCE. 

Crops, tion, and they urge tlie farmers to seek a large variety 
of cultivation to make them less dependent upon the 
one article of wheat. 

This advice can be less readily followed in Beauce 
than elsewhere, because the land is not so rich as in the 
other wheat-growing districts of France; but the Beauce 
farmer is not without some resource to assist him in 
becoming more free in his crops. There never was 
much natural grass in the country, and what little 
existed was never good. It is diminishing, and is being 
replaced by clovers, lucerne, and very largely by 
trifolium, which permits the feeding of a much bigger 
breed of sheep. This system suits the growth of spring 

Barley, corn, and especially spring barley, the cultivation of 
which is increasing in view of a demand from England. 
The soil, climate, and mode of cultivation in Beauce are 
specially suited to this grain, and the produce promises 
to be superior to that grown in the districts which have 
hitherto mainly supplied the English market when 
foreign barley has been w^anted ; and it seems probable 
that the Beauce barley will find a sale in the English 
market in all seasons on account of its inherent 
qualities, instead of being taken only in years of 
difficulty, and as an indiflferent substitute for good 
English corn, as has hitherto been the case with barley 
from France. 

The escourgeon, or winter barley, is a very favourite 
crop in Beauce, and is much esteemed by the brewers in. 
the north of France. It is sown somewhat later than 
wheat, and is harvested earlier. It yields more per acre 



BEAUCE. 377 

tlian spring barley, and sells at more money ; or it Barley. 
would perhaps be safer to say tbat it has hitherto done 
so. Improved seed will very likely turn the scale in 
favour of spring barley as regards the yield ; and if the 
quality should improve, as it promises to do, purchases 
made by English brewers certainly, and by French also 
not improbably, may raise its money yield per acre 
higher than that of the escourgeon. 

At the large agricultural show at Chartres, the 
capital of the Beauce, in June, 1877, a collection of 
samples of barley grown from English and Scotch seed 
was exhibited, and it is quite safe to say that, taking 
every quality into consideration — colour, weight, fine- 
ness of skin, roundness of grain — there were specimens 
among them that could not be matched by any barley 
of English growth, except in very favourable seasons. 
It was acknowledged by the growers that this fine 
barley cost them no more to produce than their ordinary 
grain, and that the yield per acre was more. The extra 
price obtainable was fully six shillings per quarter ; and 
this consideration set many of them thinking whether 
the growth of this barley would not be more profitable 
than oats, or escourgeon, or even wheat. The value of 
the straw was an obstacle, as barley- straw is not thought 
so good for farmers' use as that of wheat or oats, nor 
does it sell so well in the towns, or at the barracks for 
cavalry. It is greatly in favour of French barley that 
it is never grown on land upon which roots have been 
fed off by sheep, which always affects its colour. The 
brightest and best samples in England always come 



378 BEAUCE. 

Barley, f pQj^a land tliG previoiis crop on wliicli lias been wheat ; 
but this system of farming is far from general, most of 
tbe barley being from land on wbicb turnips bave been 
fed oiF by sbeep. In France a liigbly-manured beet- 
crop, followed by wheat, and that again followed by 
barley — both corn- crops being taken without manure — 
will give tlie best and finest barley produce. In tbe 
Beauce, there being no stock but sheep, chemical 
manures are largely employed, and these can be adapted 
specially to barley growth. A paper, with the details 
of the cultivation and the manures to employ, was 
distributed freely to the farmers attending the show, 
and has been circulated through the barley-growing 
districts. Beauce seems likely to hold in France for 
barley the rank that Norfolk holds in England; the 
soil being eminently suitable, the farms large, the open 
plain totally unencumbered by trees, and the farmers 
intelligent. In fact, through the Beauce the land is all 
rented on lease ; the farmers therefore have to make the 
money result sufficient to cover all their outgoings and 
leave a profit. In other districts where much barley is 
grown, the farms are small, overloaded with fruit-trees, 
and much of the land not farmed on a money payment, 
the landowner and the farmer working the land on 
joint account. If at the year's end the landowner 
receives what he has been accustomed to receive for 
years past, he makes no complaint : and if the farmer 
has a little more money at the twelvemonth's end, he 
is satisfied. Such a system, if it does not wholly check, 
by no means stimulates enterprise. 



BEAUCE, 379 

These remarks apply to Sartlie and Mayenne ; and Farms. 
in these departments there could be found no such 
example of high farming on a large scale as in Beauce. 
One instance is that of M. Lejards-Manoury : this 
gentleman has taken a farm on a lease of eighteen 
years, at a full rent; the extent of the farm is 450 
acres ; the buildings were ample but old, and he had to 
repair them at his own cost. He has built a distillery 
with a high chimney, and is farming beet-root, which 
is somewhat rare in Beauce. In 1877 he had sixty- 
four acres of sugar-beet. The work on the farm is 
largely done by gangs of men from Brittany : in June, 
1877, he had more than forty at work. He arranges 
with the "captain" as to payment, and gives 20s. per 
acre for three hoeings of beet : the men lodging and 
feeding themselves, being assisted only by purchasing 
flour at wholesale price. In the summer he has about 
500 sheep ; in the winter, during the pulping season, 
1,200, and about sixty fatting-bullocks. During the 
summer, no fatting-bullocks, but twelve horses and 
sixteen working oxen, and a score of milch cows. He 
breeds a few sheep, the ewes drop their lambs in 
December, and in June he had sold the wool for 
3s. 6 d. per lamb, and the animals were worth 28s. each : 
he will keep them another year, get another clip 
of wool, and sell them for 40s. These sheep were 
merinos with a cross of Leicesters. He had also in June 
some wretched-looking old ewes bought in : these will 
drop their lambs in December, and be at once fatted off 
on the beet pulp. It is of this class of sheep bought 



380 . BEAUCE, 

Farms, anjwliere and of any sort tliat the increase from 
500 in the summer to 1,200 in the winter is mainly 
composed. M. Lejards is a good specimen of the 
modern French farmer. Educated for three years at 
the agricultural college of Grrand Jouan, he worked some 
time as assistant on a large farm in Brie ; and it was 
only when well grounded scientifically and practically 
that he undertook business on his own account. His 
barley obtained the first prize at the Chartres show, 
and he was one of the competitors for the prize for 
high culture, and received a gold medal. 

Mons. Lejards-Manoury contracts for the manure 
from the cavalry barracks at Chartres for £240 per 
annum, and spends about the same amount in chemical 
manures, which he purchases separately, and mixes to 
suit his different crops; he has also given 250 acres a 
dressing of marl at the rate of 12 cubic yards per acre. 

This example of growing sugar-beet is likely to spread 
in Beauce ; but at present it is only grown extensively 
on two other farms. The summer of 1875 was wet and 
unfavourable, and the yield was only 12 cwt. per acre, 
which is less than was obtained in Artois and Flanders : 
the quality was good, yielding 5 to 5^ per cent, of 
alcohol, and 7 per cent, of sugar. 

In 1873 sainfoin and lucerne yielded 24 cwt. per 
acre of dry fodder ; natural grass 14 c^^^. of hay ; carrots 
16 tons ; late potatoes, which are largely grown, 64 
cwt. There is a great manufacturing consumption of 
these last in France, in works where they are converted 
into flour, starch, and sugar. 



BEAUCE, 381 

The particulars of three farms in Beauce will give a Farms. 
fair idea of what they are generally ; though necessarily 
each one will have points of difference, they all have 
some points in common. In all the horned stock 
consists of cows ; there are no oxen. The horses are all 
young, and in over-ahundance for the work to he done ; 
they are, in fact, being prepared for sale while doing the 
work of the farm, and the sheep are all merinos, pure or 
crossed. 

The first farm consists of 233 acres, at a rent of 21s. 
per acre, or, including rates and taxes, 24s. Gd. The 
gross produce per acre is about £5, the capital £6 10s. ; 
but in this the manure is not included. The stock con- 
sists of sixteen Norman cows, eleven horses, and 225 
sheep. The horses are all very young ; one was bought 
at eighteen months old for £36, which is a high figure, 
but will probably make £50 at three years of age. 
Another cost £17 at the same age, and will make £40. 
The yield of wheat in 1874 was 3i quarters to the acre, 
oats 5J, but this was unusually large ; lucerne cut three 
times gave 3^ tons. This is a fair specimen of a large 
number of farms in Beauce. 

The second is owned by the farmer, and would 
make from £24 to £32 per acre freehold, according to 
luck in selling ; it consists of 250 acres. Small estates 
in the same neighbourhood would realise double, and the 
buyers would even then save money in working them. 
The stock consists of nine Norman cows and three 
heifers, thirteen horses, and 560 sheep. The horses are 
bought young, as usual, but as the farm is larger, they 



Farms. 



382 BEAUCE, 

are kept longer, and not sold until tliey are five or six 
years old, when tliey are at their prime. The sheep are 
merinos, improved, bnt not crossed with English blood, 
as the farmer finds a sale for the best rams, which are 
selected for the English colonies on account of their 
wool. He has made as much as £160 and £200 for a 
choice ram. The yield of wheat averaged for four 
years 4 quarters 1 bushel. Lucerne is the chief source 
of supply of green fodder, and lasts five years. No 
clover is sown. Trifolium is used as an annual ; there 
are but 2 acres of natural grass, and only 1\ acres of 
roots, mangold. 

The last farm of the three is above the average, and 
obtained the prize for good cultivation. It consists of 
750 acres, and is stocked with 60 cows, 27 horses, 600 
sheep, and 300 lambs. Erom 500 to 600 quarters of 
wheat are sold yearly. The crops in 1874 consisted of 
187 acres of wheat, 150 of barley and oats, 38 acres of a 
mixture of rye and wheat upon some poor soil ; and the 
roots consisted of mangolds, carrots, potatoes, cabbages, 
lucerne, sainfoin, clover, vetches, and maize to cut green. 



Value of Throu2:hout the Beauce the value of the land, 
freehold, seems to be about £40 per acre, the letting 
value 22s. per acre, the farming capital from £6 to £8, 
the leases from nine to twelve years, and the system 
three courses, with no fallow. 

Game. ^g pegards game, rabbits are very scarce. Hares can 

be found in fair numbers, and they are big and strong. 



BEAUCE, 383 

Of pheasants there are none, but partridges are abundant, ^^™®- 
and the little bustard breeds freely. Introduced from 
Algiers about twenty years ago, it may now be seen 
in flocks of 100 in the autumn, when it migrates. The 
shooting in France being practically open to any one 
(except where proper notice is posted that it is reserved, 
and keepers are on the spot to warn people ofl"), so good 
a partridge country as Beauce is overrun early in the 
shooting season, and on the first day of the opening in 
1875 as many as 137 sportsmen from Paris turned out of 
the train at one station in Beauce, Angerville, accom- 
panied by an average of a dog apiece, attracted to the 
spot by the reputation of the shooting, and probably 
also by the knowledge that the keeper of a small inn 
at Angerville is one of the best cooks in Europe, and has 
a capital cellar of wine. This wild kind of shooting 
makes the birds pack early, and by the middle of October 
they rise in flocks of thirty or forty, well out of reach 
of the sportsman, who, in the total absence of shaws and 
hedges, has small chance of getting within shot of his 
game. The larks from La Beauce are celebrated; they 
are caught in thousands during winter, but are rarely 
seen in summer; from them are made the renowned 
paies of Pithiviers and Chartres. 

Beauce is one of the largest sheep -producing countries sheep. 
of France. The number is about the same as in 
Berri, but they are not far from double the size of the 
Berrichons, and they are yearly increasing in their meat- 
producing properties. The breed is the merino, pure or 



384 BEAUCE. 

Sheep, crossed, exclusively — the merino improyed from tlie 
original stock, which was reared solely with reference to 
its wool, so as now to produce an animal with a good 
yield of meat, while retaining a clip of wool of 8 or 
10 lbs. Indeed, there are merinos which in shape 
and general appearance very closely resemble a large 
Southdown. The cross most in favour is that with 
Leicesters, or Lincolns, or Cotswolds. The transforma- 
tion, however, is far from being complete or general : on 
too many farms the sheep have too much bone, and the 
skin is too full of creases. Every year, however, shows 
progress, and a fourth at least of the sheep in Beauce 
have an English cross. Some breeders cling to the old 
breed of the Eambouillet merino, not allowing any cross, 
and they have found their account in the sale of their 
rams for export to the colonies ; but this trade now 
seems passed away : the large majority of farmers breed 
for the butcher as well as for the woolstapler. At the 
show at Chartres, in 1877, there were 75 entries of 
sheep with the Leicester cross, and 44 of pure merinos ; 
the prizes in the main went to the crossed sheep. 

Cattle. ]s^Q cattle are bred in Beauce, and they are very rarely 

used in farm-work. The onlv stock of this kind are 
cows kept for dairy purposes. They are almost wholly 
Norman. 

Horses. ^\iQ fami-work is done by horses of the Percheron 
breed. They are not reared in the countrj^ but bought 
in the neighbouring district of Perche. The purchase 
is made when the horses are young, at about eighteen 



BEAUCE. 385 

months or two years old, after they have been gently Horses. 
worked upon the smaller farms of Perche, but poorly fed. 
In the hands of the Beauce farmer they receive various 
treatment : on the smaller holdings they still do light 
work, and are bought more with a view to a profit on 
their sale than for the work they do ; on the larger 
ones, the profit on re-sale is not lost sight of, but farm- 
work is considered of most consequence. On all they are 
highly fed, and do a great deal of fast cartage, by which 
their paces are brought out. The land, even on the 
largest holdings, being considerably divided, portions of 
the farm are frequently at a considerable distance apart. 
As the journeys must be made, and the sowing and 
harvesting done as quickly as possible, the horses are 
driven at full swing. On some farms the work is very 
severe, and many horses break down under it ; on others 
the business of preparing horses for the Paris market is 
made a great point. Two horses are kept where one 
would suffice. They are kept for one, two, or three 
years, and sold, the lightest and most active for the 
omnibus traffic, the heaviest for the team-work. In pro- 
portion to his acreage, the Beauce farmer of every kind 
keeps many horses : he must not risk being short of 
strength at seed-time and harvest. The best Percheron 
horses are fouad in Beauce. They are selected by the 
farmers who know the breeders ; and it is at the fairs 
of Chartres, La Loupe, Nogent le Eotrou, Senonches, 
Courville, Chateauneuf, Bonneval, &c., that they must 
be sought, though very probably the best animals are 
never taken to the fairs at all, but are to be seen at the 
z 



386 BEAUCE. 

Horses, gtables of their owners. This is mucli as it is in 
England ; and as in England, there are people in each 
of the chief towns of the country who make a business 
of knowing where every good horse is to be found, and 
who in the course of a day would take a stranger to see 
every good animal that was for sale for ten miles 
round. In the hands of a Beauce farmer there is hardly 
an old horse to be found, certainly not a colt or a fill}^, 
and ver}^ rarely a mare. In Perche, on the contrary, 
there are only brood mares and young stock. 

, Popuia- The population is only 121 to the square mile, 
as against 175 for all France, but can hardly be called 
small, considering that it is almost wholly employed in 
farming, nor is it superabundant ; there are no more 
. people than can well be employed. About 450,000 are 
returned as living collected together, and 300,000 as 
scattered ; but those living collected are so in agricul- 
tural villages, and are not engaged in any manufactures ; 
80 per cent, are called rural, and 20 per cent, urban, but 
the town people are dependent upon their rural neigh- 
bours, and live by supplying their w^ants. Eure-et-Loir, 
indeed, shows the large proportion of S4y per cent, rural, 
and only 1 52 urban : it may really be called wholly 
rural. 

Eriuca- The positiou of education, as compared with other 

countrj^ districts, is good: only 31 per cent, of the 
inhabitants above six years old are unable to read or 
write. The average of all France is 30"S. Eure-et- 
Loir is especially good, the proportion being only 23*4. 



ILE DE FEANCE AND BEIE. 



" The He de France is tlie only spot in our territory where farmers 
are to be found as rich as farmers are in England. Large fortunes 
have been made here by farming, particularly during the last fifty 
years ; some farmers here are worth their <£40,000, and many others 
have fortunes of several thousands. 

" Large properties have been preserved here more than elsewhere 
in France. There are many of <£4,000 a year and upwards. The 
Duke de Luynes has .£40,000 a year in landed property chiefly in this 
locality." — Leonce de Lavergne. 



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ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 389 

BRIE. 

Between the Seine on the south and the Marne on 
the north, forming the principal part of the department 
of the Seine-et-Marne and a portion of that of Seine- 
et-Oise, is the large wheat-producing country of La 
Brie, a great and elevated level plain, nearly forty miles 
square, undisturbed by any hills. It presents a marked 
contrast to its rival, La Beauce, as it is bounded by the 
two rich and populous valleys of the Seine and the 
Marne, and is crossed by three or four other rivers 
which, if not important, add very much to the agree- 
ableness of the country, and supply it with that water 
which is so painfully deficient in La Beauce. These 
streams, with their feeders, drain an area of about 
800,000 acres : 1,800 watercourses are mapped, marked, 
and surveyed, and fifteen years ago 800 miles of these 
watercourses had been cleaned out and deepened, and are 
so looked after that they are more than three feet below 
the level of the surrounding land. Since that time 
the process has continued. The effect of such a system 
is that most of these watercourses, and some of the 
smaller streams, are usually dry in summer; but the 
soil of Brie, being stiff, requires this power of getting 
rid of surplus water, which in La Beauce drains away 
naturally. 

Some large forests, many woods, nursery-gardens, 
and orchards, enliven the landscape. There are only 
two towns with more than 10,000 inhabitants — Melun 
with 11,130, and Meaux with 11,202 ; but the country 



Estates 



390 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

swarms with a prodigious number of villages, hamlets, 
farmsteads, and country seats. 

SEINE-ET-MAENE. 
Seine-et-Marne has always been a favourite resort 
of those who could indulge in the investment of large 
sums in land ; and though estates much more extensive 
are to be found in the poor district of the centre of 
France, nowhere are there so many having so high a 
rental. Those of hundreds of acres in extent, letting at 
from £400 to £4,000 per annum, are far from uncommon. 
That of Baron Rothschild contains 8,000 acres. In the 
Seine-et-Marne there are more estates — 815 — paying a 
land-tax of over £40, than in any other department in 
France, and a smaller number of landowners ; and the 
amount of the land-tax, £240,000, is only exceeded by 
that paid by Paris, by the manufacturing departments of 
the ISTord and Seine Inferieure, and by the adjoining 
department of Seine-et-Oise, which contains such towns 
as Versailles and St. Germain, and which, in a very 
great degree, is a suburb of Paris. These statistics are 
taken from the returns of 1858 ; there are none latei", 
but there is no reason to suppose that there is any 
change in the proportions. This occupation b}^ large 
landowners by no means excludes the small. There are 
as many as 10,000 owners cultivating their own soil 
and living by it in Seine-et-Marne, while there are 
only 6,000 in Eure-et-Loir (Beauce) ; and 13,000 
day-labourers, out of a total of 20,000, are also land- 
owners. 



SEINE' ET'OISE. 391 

Very large sums have been expended in road- Eoads. 
making — as much, as £600,000 since 1852 ; and it is 
noteworthy that as the outlay in this respect has in- 
creased, so the defaulters in payment of highway-rates 
have decreased, and rents are rising. 

SEINE-ET-OISE. 
The southern portion of Seine-et-Oise forms part of 
Beauce ; the eastern forms part of Brie ; and the 
northern, though not in Brie, resembles it in the nature 
of its soil and cultivation. Upon the whole, Seine-et- 
Oise is far more picturesque than Seine-et-Marne. It 
abounds in pleasant sites ; the country is more broken, 
well wooded, and watered. The Seine, with an infinite 
number of windings, goes right across it ; the Oise and 
its tributaries provide the northern part with streams ; 
the Essonne, the Orge, and the Yvette, and many other 
smaller rivers, do the same for the south-west. The 
prettiest part of the department is in the south-west, 
the old country of Hurepoix, which is enlivened by 
bright streams, diversified by woods and forests, with 
sandstone rocks, a country almost unknown to English 
travellers, and not much more frequented by French. 
The railway by Sceaux and Chevreuse passes through part 
of it. A clever newspaper correspondent thus writes of 
it: — "The panorama was one of varied and seductive 
loveliness, and its general features had an almost 
Kentish aspect. The advantage, on the whole, is, I 
think, on the side of the undulating country of which 
I speak. Its hills afifect the shape of mountains ; they 



392 ^ SEINE-ET-OISE. 

are grouped as if by a cunning landscape-painter, and 
wherever you see in a coppice a bit of broken ground, it 
bas not tbe blancbed bue of tbe cbalk, but the warm 
tawny colour of a red sandstone soil." 

dences Seine-ct-Oise, from its natural beauty and its proxi- 

mity to Paris, has been the favoured spot for the erection 
of many royal and noble palaces. Versailles, St. 
Germain, Rambouillet, Marly, Meudon, Malmaison, St. 
Cloud, all either built or possessed by royalty, set an 
example which the courtiers were not slow to follow, 
and more than forty noble habitations, as well main- 
tained, and as luxuriously furnished, as when the French 
aristocracy was at the height of its power, are still mainly 
possessed by the descendants of the original owners, and 
attest to the vitality of a class which is commonly 
thought to have been extinguished by the revolutionary 
torrent. But though so many ancestral dwellings are 
kept up as gloriously as at any former period, there 
are many here, and indeed elsewhere in France, which 
are habitations of genteel poverty. From the ducal resi- 
dence of the family of De Luynes, whose owner is master 
of £40,000 a year from land in this neighbourhood 
alone, to the old chateau of a poor nobleman, the 
distance is great indeed. The newspaper correspondent 
already quoted says of a chateau in Seine-et-Oise : " Our 
chateau, which I present as a general type of a rural 
squire's dwelling, is only twelve miles from Versailles, 
and thirty from Paris. It lies in a fat vale, hemmed in 
by rude wooded hills of picturesque outline ; one of the 



SEINE-ET-OISE. 393 

numerous valleys to tlie west of Paris in wliicli tlie Resi- 

. . deuces. 

Benedictines settled. Capacity for elevating pleasure 
is crushed out in the perpetual race after francs and 
centimes. The love of display, so strong in the French 
character, is extinguished. An avenue overarched with 
light rows of stately trees is grass-grown. Half the 
windows along the fagade of the chateau are huilt up to 
keep doAVTL taxes. Lettuces and potherhs flourish on 
terraces raised two centuries ago for the delectation of 
lords in red-heeled boots and ladies in sweeping trains. 
IS'othing can be more dismal than a French chateau 
inhabited by genteel misers. Its chimneys were made 
for roaring wood fires, and its high doors and windows 
to be heavily curtained. With fireless hearths, carpet- 
less-tiled floors, and skimp muslin and dimity hangings, 
the spacious old-fashioned chambers have the chilling 
dreariness of a deserted barrack-room." 

Modern constructions, rivalling the older ones in all 
the glories of architecture, decoration, and "plenishing,", 
have been built by the financial princes of Paris : the 
wealthy manufacturers and tradesmen are also largely 
represented. Every available spot within reasonable 
reach of a convenient station is crowded with cheerful 
little boxes buried in a mass of foliage, fruit, and flowers. 
ISTo one place in the whole department is eight miles 
from a railway station, and no one station is farther 
from Paris than a three hours' journey by the slowest 
trains. The chief town of the department is the political Towns. 
capital of France; the military college of St. Cyr supplies 
250 young officers yearly to the army; the Agricultural 



394 SEINE-ET-OISE. 

College of Grignon lias its 100 pupils; lialf a dozen busy 
market-towns average 7,000 inliabitants ; 250 mills, 
whose productions rank among tlie best in Europe, 
supply Paris witb flour; 1,500 quarries contribute to its 
paving and building ; every village has an establisliment 
of some kind connected witb Paris trade, beaded by tlie 
celebrated porcelain manufactory of Sevres ; each bouse- 
bold seems to have its work to do for Paris in glove- 
stitching, making up clothes, artificial flowers, &c.; and — 
certainly not least in consideration, or in the amount of 
money expended — all the washing of Paris appears to be 
done in Seine-et-Oise, if we may judge by the acres of 
linen exposed to dry in the valley between Sevres and 
Yersailles. 
Estates. Like its neighbour, Seine -et-Marne, Seine-et-Oise 
is a country of large estates, and it stands second to it 
in the number of properties that pay the land-tax of 
more than £40 per annum, there being 705. Seine 
Inferieure has 608, no other department, except that 
containing the ca]Dital, reaching 400 ; in the amount 
of the tax paid it exceeds Seine-et-Marne, and is only 
exceeded itself by Seine Inferieure and the Nord, 
always excepting the capital. 

This is at the same time one of the departments the 
most cut up into small properties, there being 126,000 
registered which pay a land-tax of less than 4s. 2d. 
Seven departments only have more. 12,000 owners 
work their own land, and do nothing else, and there are 
as many day-labourers — that is, more than liaK of this 
class — who are also landowners. 



ILE DE 1^ RANGE AND BRIE. 395 

It is in these two departments tliat we sliall probably steam 
see the first employment of railways on tbe sides of tbe ways. 
roads. Tbe bill has been favonrably reported upon by a 
Committee of tbe House, and tbey will act as feeders to 
the main lines already established. By tlie statutes, 
there must be a space of at least six yards left on the 
roads from the extreme outside of the wao-ons. The 
line must be on the side, not on the centre of the 
road, and the rails shall not be above the level of 
the roadway. The speed is not to exceed twelve miles 
an hour, to be slackened when approaching other con- 
veyances, and at cross roads ; and the trains must stop 
only at the fixed stations. As the main roads in France 
are of ample width, and usually laid out straight, these 
steam tramways will be easily made ; and running 
through countries so populous as these two depart- 
ments, requiring such constant communication with the 
main lines, both for passengers and produce, they will 
probably pay well. 

The population in these two departments is large Popuia- 
— 152 to the square mile in Seine-et-Marne, and 
265 in Seine- et-Oise. It is returned as living collec- 
tively, there being upwards of 660,000 so stated, and 
178,000 as being scattered. But in spite of this 
aggregation, the occupations are mainly rural, 79 per 
cent, in Seine-et-Marne being so returned, and 21 per 
cent, as urban; while in Seine-et-Oise the proportions 
are 64'36 per cent, rural, and 35'64 urban. If deduc- 
tion is made of Yersailles with its 61,000 inhabitants. 



396 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

and of St. Grermain with, its 22,000, wMch. are really 
only detaclied portions of Paris, it will be seen liow 
greatly rural occupations prevail. 

Educa- \yl education tlie standard is liis^lier far than the 

tion. ^ ^ ^ 

average of France, as in Seine-et-Marne only 20 per 
cent, of those above six years of age cannot either read 
or write, while in Seine- et-Oise the proportion is as low 
as 12 per cent. Only nine departments show more 
favourably, and one of these contains the capital. 

Cuitiva- Although the old saying that "La Brie and La 
Beauce are the two paps that feed Paris " is no longer 
absolutely true, seeing that Paris requires much more than 
they can furnish, and that improved communication 
makes Paris more independent of the growth of corn in 
its immediate neighbourhood, yet Seine-et-Marne re- 
tains the superiority which old writers attribute to Brie. 
It is true that thirty departments now equal or exceed 
it in the number of acres sown yearly with wheat, that 
fourteen do so in produce, and that four exceed it both 
in acres and produce, but no part of France equals Brie 
in the quantity grown per acre. The average in 1872 
was thirty-one bushels (that of Great Britain is esti- 
mated at twenty-eight bushels), an increase of ten bushels 
over the average of thirty years ago, which means that 
on some farms the yield must have reached six quarters 
to the acre or more. A high agricultural authorit}^, 
writing in the autumn of 1874, says: — "We have 
durins: the last two months visited the corn districts of 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE, 397 

France, and nowhere have we seen such crops as in 
Brie/' a phrase which would he true in any season 
except those unusually wet. 

The four- course system is general. A quarter of 
the arahle land is sown with wheat every year. The 
area is increasing, as from the extension of railways it 
has become less profitable to grow meadow-hay ; and 
from the convenience of getting manure from Paris, 
arable land pays better. On many farms wheat and 
beet are grown alternately for some years ; sometimes 
another corn-crop follows wheat — the heavy amount of 
manure given to beet being sufficient for the two 
following crops. 

There are 75,000 acres of beet in Seine-et-Marne Beet, 
and Seine-et-Oise. Only five departments have more 
than either of them, and they are in the north, which 
is the seat of the sugar manufacture. Some sugar is 
made in Brie, but the beet is mainly used for distilling. 
A distillery is a common adjunct to a large Brie farm. 
There are fifty-one attached to farms in Seine-et-Marne 
alone. 

Beet requires to be largely manured, and nearly one- Manures. 
fourth of the guano imported into France — 88,000 tons 
out of 378,000 — is used in Seine-et-Marne and Seine-et- 
Oise. In Seine-et-Oise marl is dug from pits which are 
from ten to thirty feet deep, and is found very generally 
through the department. It is largely used, and has 
been for a long time. Its use was common in the 



398 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Marl, seventeenth century. The straw and green fodder is sold 
in Paris, and manure brought back. And besides this, 
large quantities of rape -cake, native guano, and phos- 
phates are used. From 90 to 200 cubic yards of farm- 
yard manure are applied to the acre. The returns in 
1873 show the consumption of chemical manures in 
Seine-et-Oise to have amounted to 1,400,000 tons, 
which is the half of all used in France. 

Farms. The characteristics of Brie are its large farms and 

high farming, on the open plains ; but in the valleys, 
where the pastures are good, and round the margin of 
the great plain, medium and quite small farms prevail — 
from 250 acres down to holdings so small that the 
owner and his family more than suffice for the work, 
and have time to hire themselves out as day-labourers. 

Buildings. Generally speaking, the homesteads are large and 
ample ; though on the smaller farms they are somewhat 
deficient, and outlay upon expensive, or upon what we 
in England should call merely necessary buildings, does 
not bring a corresponding increase of rental from them. 
On the larger farms the}^ are excellent ; they usually — 
almost always — surround a large 3^ard, ha^dng but one 
entrance by a stone arched gateway, closed at night by 
a folding gate ; the residence occupies one side, and 
round the others are the barns, cattle and sheep sheds, 
stables, loose-boxes, distiller}^, boiler-house, steam-engine, 
threshing-machine, cart-sheds, &c. In a French farm 
all the corn and hay are put under cover, the sheep and 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE, 399 

oxen are all fed in- doors for a large portion of tlie Buildings. 
year. Many farms house over 1,000 slieep in separate 
bays, of wliicli there are usually eleven; so that with 
100 sheep in ten of them, there is always one in process 
of being cleaned out. The centre of the yard is occupied 
with a great heap of manure, in which are mixed the 
dung from the stables and the droppings from the 
sheep, and which is kept moist by the drainage from 
the cow-sheds and the liquid from the distillery, poured 
over the mass by means of a machine in the nature 
of a Jacob's ladder. 

The rent of land in Brie is high. An advertisement Eents. 
of the sale of one in April, 1875, states that it consists 
of 390 acres, the rent £740 — about £1 19s. per acre — 
and the upset price £18,000. This would be considered 
a medium-sized farm, the larger ones running from 1,000 
to 1,500 acres. The land is usually let on leases from 
nine years and over ; smaller holdings near towns make 
much higher rents, but they are mainly farmed by their 
owners, and when for sale realise a price wholly out of 
proportion to their letting value. Wages are high. 
A man can more easily earn 2s. 6d.' a day now than Labour. 
he could half that sum formerly. Labour is largely 
employed ; some farms could be found of 800 acres, 
on which 100 men are at work upon an average 
daily. 

The stiff soil of Brie, with its impermeable subsoil, Drainage. 
gains much by drainage, and much has been done. 



400 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Drainage. The drains are sometimes a yard and a half deep, and 
placed at various distances. Before they were drained, 
the water has been known to stand on some farms, after 
heavy rains, deep enongh to float a boat. This drainage 
presents no difficulties on the large estates, but on 
others, where the advantage would be equally great, it 
is rendered impossible by the smallness of the properties. 
There is one farm near Coulommiers, of 288 acres, 
composed of 230 separate holdings. Such a condition 
of things precludes high farming ; the defects are 
seriously felt, but a remedy does not seem possible. 
The owners of small plots will not sell except at 
exorbitant prices. There are some farms of from 200 
to 300 acres, that are pretty well together ; it is rare, 
however, to find this quantity of land all contiguous, 
except in the large estates. 

Machi- The use of machinery is becoming more general ; 

threshing-machines have long been in use, and in the 
arrondissement of Melun (250,000 acres) there were, in 
1873, seventy reaping and twenty- five mowing machines. 
The number has increased rapidly since then. It is 
becoming the practice for the smaller farmers to engage 
with the larger ones for the hire of implements, and 
also for them to club together for the purchase of 
horses and utensils, thus formino- a kind of aoTicultural 
association ; the only method by which the effect of the 
extreme division of the soil can be modified, so as to 
render it not injurious to the country a^ large. 



:i^ 



BRIE, 401 

Steam-power in doing field-work is not at present in steam. 
mncli use, but it is making progress. It has been used 
by M. Decauville on bis farm of 850 acres at Petit- 
Bourg, nineteen miles from Paris, since 1867, and tbe 
same gentleman is making steam ploughs at bis iron- 
works, suitable for Prencb farms, less expensive tban 
tbose of English workmanship. 

The value of ploughing done by steam is ackno\v- 
ledged ; horses are getting as scarce and as dear in 
France as in England. Bullocks, much used in France^ 
are a resource that the English farmer has not got, but 
they also are getting too dear : being now kept in high 
condition, their value approaches too near that for the 
butcher, when they have to be purchased by those wha 
want them for work; they are still largely used, how- 
ever, but where the farms are large enough steam is 
superseding them, and the use of steam ploughs has 
received a great impetus from the experience of the 
Messrs. Tetard at Gronesse after the German occupation. 
On the 6th September, 1870, these gentlemen were 
compelled to take all their live stock into Paris ; the 
whole of their crops and everything in the barns and 
about the place was burnt. After the siege they took 
possession, early in April, 1871, of a portion of the farm- 
buildings, and they found themselves with 1,200 acres^ 
of unfilled and unsown land, seven horses only out of 
167 they had taken into Paris, not a head of any other 
kind of stock, and no fodder, and in a country where 
.the cattle-plague was raging. They immediately got. 
over steam ploughs from Fowler; by the 18th of May 

A A. 



402 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

PioiTiis ^^1 were at work. In one month, from tliat time 600 
acres were sown with, sugar-beet in good condition : tlie 
season was saved, and tlie cost of tlie steam machinery 
was repaid by this alone. In Angnst and September 
the steam plough was again at work preparing the land 
which had lain under an enforced fallow, and relieving 
Messrs. Tetard from the necessity of buying more than 
half the usual number of working oxen. jThe spring 
work in the following year was performed without 
difficulty, and in May, 1872, 540 acres were sot^ti mth 
beet. The autumn of that year gave another opportunity 
for showing the advantage of steam : the land was 
soaked with water; the beet was on the ground, the 
sugar manufactory ready for it, but no animal power 
could move the roots in sufficient quantity to be in time 
for the season, which only lasts three months. Eighteen 
oxen could not drag two tons of roots out of the deep 
mire. Fowler's steam was again called upon, and the 
loaded wagons were drawn on to the hard road. 

Farms. The detailed accounts of three farms will give a Pair 

idea of farming in Brie, and these are all paying, not 
fancy farms ; they probably are somewhat above the 
average of their neighbours, but not much, and very few 
large farms in the whole country fall much below them. 

Bouvray. The farm of Eouvray, near Melun, worked by M. 
Chertemps, consists of 1,050 acres. It is one of the 
largest in Brie : the surface-soil is clay mixed with 
silica ; the subsoil is a sticky clay impermeable to water ; 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 403 

tlie surface is very level. It is well drained, two-thirds Farms. 
at tlie cost of tlie tenant farmer, and one-third at that of 
the landlord, but the tenant pays 5 per cent, interest 
on the outlay of the landlord : the drains are more than 
twenty yards apart, and are a yard and a half deep ; the 
cost was £4 per acre. Before the drains were made the 
water always stood after heavy rains, forming large 
lakes. The fields are bordered by pear and apple trees, 
which furnish 12,000 to 15,000 gallons of cider annually, 
and are laid out in large pieces so that steam-power 
may be easily applied when it is clearly profitable to 
do so. The plantations which are kept up as a shelter 
for game, have been moved from the centre of the 
fields to the ends, and the whole estate is provided 
with good roads, which are essential wherever much 
beet is gro^vn. 

The principal crops are wheat, beet, rape, flax, oats, 
and lucerne ; rye and buckwheat are grown to a small 
extent, chiefly as food for game. JSTo very strict system 
of rotation is followed; the crops vary as it appears 
probable which will pay best. The land for beet is 
ploughed lightly as soon as the corn is removed, again 
a second time before winter, and a third time in spring. 
The ploughing is done by contract at 7s. 6d. per acre for 
ordinary work, but at 12s. per acre when prepared for 
beet. Hoeing is all done by hand, labour being plenti- 
ful : the first hoeing at 3s. 6d. per acre ; the second, 
which includes the pressing down of the roots, at 8s. 6d. 
The beets always have four or five hoeings, being rolled 
after the first : with this care a crop of sixteen tons to 

A A 2 



404 ■ ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Farms, -^j^g ^cre is looked for, wliicli is distilled on the premises. 
The growth of beet has opened the land very much. 

Lucerne lasts three years ; it would last another 
year, but M. Chert emps prefers not to leave it until 
it wastes, and gets choked with weeds. It gives three 
cuttings a year, and a total produce usually of four 
tons to the acre. It can be grown profitably on the 
same land after an interval of twelve years. 

Flax. Eighty acres are in flax, which will bring in £16 per 

acre gross value. Biga seed is used, and it is sown 
broadcast ; it is hand- weeded. The growth of flax is 
rather increasing in Brie. 

Wheat. The great crop of Brie, wheat, is a very anxious one 
for the farmer, as it is so liable to be laid upon the 
strong highly-farmed land. The average growth upon 
the farm at Bouvray, allowing for the years in which it 
gets lodged, is thirty bushels to the acre. The ploughing 
for wheat is always shallow ; deep ploughing encourages 
the growth of catlock, to which Brie land is very subject. 
It is quite common to see the fields yellow with its 
flowers. 

There is only one cow on the farm, not another head 
of horned ^ock. 

Sheep. The live stock consists of 1,800 sheep. They are an 
early and prolific breed, such as is found in Syria and 
Algiers, crossed with merinos. They begin to breed the 
second year, and one -third of the ewes drop two lambs. 
They sell at from 28s. to 32s. when eight months old, and 
get to weigh 110 to 130 lbs. at eighteen months. It 
is said that they will breed three times in two years. 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 405 

They are pastured in summer, and kept in-doors in 
winter, wlien they are fed from the pulp of the beetroot. 
The rent of the farm is 30s. per acre ; but M. 
Chertemps has expended much money himself, having 
drained two -thirds of the land at his own expense. The 
inventory would now amount to at least £12,000. 

A first prize for cultivation has been obtained by ^^^' 
M. Garnot for his farm at Yillaroche, near Melun. It ^oche. 
consists of 575 acres : the rent is 36s. per acre. Govern- 
ment dues 7s. 6d., and interest on improvements Is. per 
acre — total, 44s. 6d. 

The soil is clay, with an impermeable subsoil, and has 
been drained by the landlord, at a cost of £2,000, for which 
the tenant pays 3 per cent, per annum interest. Beet is the Beet. 
chief basis of the farming, and it occupies this year 
(1873) 175 acres. The land for it was manured with 
twelve to fourteen tons per acre of farmyard manure, to 
which had been added three-quarters of a hundred- 
weight of the sulphate of ammonia. This amount of 
manure is applied every second year. Beet requires 
continual hoeing, until the leaves cover the ground, 
and, as hand-labour is dear, never falling below 2s. 2d. 
per day during the winter, horse-hoes are used, and 
Crosskill's roller follows the hoe twice, and some- 
times three times. The ploughing, sowing, hoeing, and 
rolling are done by oxen, which are driven very quickly; 
they get over the ground quite as fast as horses. They 
are well fed, having five quarts of oats per day each. 
There are 105 acres in lucerne, which is cut three or four . 



406 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Farms, times, and is plouglied up after four years. Straw and 
green crops are sold on an average to tlie value of £800 
per annum, and manures to more tlian this amount are 
bouglit. When the wheat escapes being laid it yields 
forty -four bushels to the acre. It is drilled in rows 
eight inches apart, and receives in autumn a top dress- 
ing of three-quarters of a hundredweight of sulphate of 
ammonia per acre. The sheaves at harvest are tied 
with bands of baste, which cost 10s. per 1,000, and last 
five years. Oats yield nine quarters to the acre. All 
the beet is worked up in the distillery. 

The sheep are kept under cover in a building 54 
yards long by 16 broad, divided into 11 bays, each able 
to contain 100 sheep. One bay is always empty for the 
convenience of removing the dung into the yard, 
where it is mixed with the other manure, as is usual in 
Brie. 

The permanent stock consists of 1 7 horses, 24 work- 
ing oxen, and 18 milch cows. Thirty head of horned 
cattle are fatted yearly, and 1,200 sheep; and besides 
these, the working oxen are put up to fat as the work 
gets light, beginning A^dth beet-pulp, and finishing with 
cake. The price of working bullocks is now £44 to £45 
the pair. The sheep are bought in, not bred. The cows 
are of the Swiss breed, and cost about £23 each. Some 
milk is sold at Melun, but it pays better to use it for fat- 
tening calves, which make £5 at two months old ; they 
are sold at Is. per lb. net weight, which is reckoned b}^ 
deducting 40 per cent, from the live weight at the scale. 

Produce of various kinds to the amount of from 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE, 407 

£6,000 to £6,400 is sold off tlie farm yearly, of wMch Farms. 
from £2,400 to £3,200 is in the form of spirit. 

On another farm of 750 acres, the rent of which, 
including Government dues, is £1,500 per annum, the 
stock consists of 18 horses, 32 oxen, 1,000 sheep, besides 
which 30 to 40 oxen are fatted every year. The sheep 
bring in about £700 per annum from wool ; £500 to 
£600 from the sale of fat sheep, and the letting of rams, 
wdiich make £8 to £12 for the season. The flock is 
entirely merino, but it is greatly improved as regards 
early maturity: at eight months old the lambs weigh 
120 to 132 pounds, and give nearly six pounds of wool ; 
the ewes weigh 154 pounds, and the shearlings about the 
same at 18 months old. The ewes drop young when two 
years old; they give 11 pounds of wool, selling now 
(May, 1873) at Is. IM. per lb. ; that of the lambs sells 
at Is. 42d. This flock produces as much meat as those 
breeds most remarkable for that character, and has 
over these latter a marked superiority in the value 
of the fleece; and on this account the rams are much 
sought for. 

The progress of farming in Seine-et-Oise can be traced Puiseux. 
with unusual clearness in the farm of Puiseux, which has 
been in the same family for four generations, nearly 100 
years. In 1784, M. Thomassin rented the farm, then 
about 300 acres, from the Marquise de Yauvray, at a 
rent of 10s. per acre. At that time fallows were general, 
artificial grasses hardly known, and wheat and rye 
together gave only twenty bushels to the acre. At 
various periods other land was added. The times were 



408 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Farms, rougli £or farmers, with a fixed maximuni of price and 

Puiseux. . . 

payment m depreciated paper money, but M. Tnomassm 
fought through them, and during the Empire made 
money enough to start seven children in the world ; and 
in 1810 he retired, giving up his own farm to his 
youngest son. Worse times succeeded, and up to 1816 
it was a desperate struggle ; overwhelmed with taxes, his 
men drafted off to be food for powder, subject to the 
miseries of two invasions, the farmer was brought almost 
to ruin. Two or three good years set things right again, 
and in 1819 M. Thomassin bought the freehold from the 
heirs of the Marquise de Vauvray, his land now standing 
at an estimated rental of £600, being about 20s. per acre. 

From this time the old system of farming was broken 
through, a large flock of sheep was kept, straw and green 
fodder sold ofl* the farm, and 140 loads of dung bought 
yearly. Improved implements are introduced, green 
fodder and roots take the place of fallows, rye is aban- 
doned, wheat yields over twenty-two bushels to the acre, 
and oats forty. M. Thomassin is able to put each of his 
four sons at the head of a large farm, giving up the 
family one to his son Stanislaus, in 1836. Under this 
son the produce of wheat rises to twenty-eight bushels, 
and oats to forty-seven. In 1844 the first threshing- 
machine in the district is set up on this farm ; in 1856 
a distillery is established. In 1862 the land was in turn 
handed over to M. Theophilus Thomassin, the present 
occupier, who in this year (1877) has received the prize 
for high farming given in the department. 

The distillery now consumes 20 tons of beet per 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 409 

day ; tlie pits hold. 300 tons of pulp ; there are sheds |arms. 
large enough to cover 600 tons of roots ; there is 
an abundance of the best implements. The total 
holding is 675 acres, 50 of which are light sand, and 625 
are calcareous, with a surface-soil of sand and clay. On 
these 625 acres the course is, first, beet ; second, wheat ; 
third, beet, rape, or green fodder ; fourth, wheat ; fifth, 
oats : 75 acres are in artificial grass. The manure is 
obtained from 17 horses, 20 working oxen, always on 
the farm, to which are added 10 more in winter, 600 
sheep in summer, and 900 in winter. Eye, oat, and 
rape straw are alone used on the farm ; all the wheat 
straw is sold. For the last two years M. Thomassin 
has bought the mud-sweepings from the streets of Paris, 
1,000 tons of which are delivered to him by rail yearly. 
From 1862 to 1870 he purchased annually 25 to 30 tons 
of guano, and as many of rape-cake ; but latterly, since 
chemical manures have been more thorousrhly understood, Chemical 

'^ ^ . Manures. 

he has ceased to buy guano, and replaces it by a mix- 
ture of nitrate of soda, superphosphate, and sulphate of 
ammonia. Under this management, or in consequence 
of favourable seasons, the yield of wheat has increased 
during the last five years four bushels per acre, and beet 
nearly three tons. Seasons may have affected this yield, 
but the judges decidedly attribute it to the rational 
method of providing suitable nourishment for the 
crops. 

When farmyard manure alone is used it is impossible 
to judge clearly what is the influence of each of its 
constituents upon any crop ; it seems to fulfil every 



410 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Farms, requirement, but completely satisfies none. Gruano and 

Puiseux, . ., 

Similar manures are not always satisfactory — indeed, 
sometimes they are disastrous. Chemical analysis has 
rendered immense service to farming, and thrown clear 
light upon the question of the proper food to be suppHed 
to crops, and for the last ten years commercial manures, 
received at first with justifiable mistrust, have been a 
precious resource for the farmers. The composition of 
plants is now understood, the elements necessary to their 
existence are known. 

So far so good, but farmers are yet only feeling their 
way. Exceptionally large crops of sixty bushels of wheat 
to the acre, ordinary ones of thirty-two, and bad ones of 
fifteen, are not accounted for ; two samples yielding the 
same crop will be difi'erently composed. The truth will 
eventually be reached, but it is a serious labour. Agri- 
cultural laboratories, " stations agronomiques," will 
solve the question, but they must be assisted by farmers 
sending specimens of any especially abiuidant crops, 
which should be taken at the moment of flowering. In 
spite of this incompleteness of knowledge, chemical 
manures produce very satisfactory results, and are 
bought by farmers with daily increasing favour. 

For this season's crops M. Thomassin used twenty 
tons of cake, ten tons of sulphate of ammonia, ten tons 
of nitrate of soda, and thirty tons of superphosphate ; 
100 cubic yards of lime mixed with 400 cubic yards of 
road-scrapings are used on thirty acres of lucerne. The 
result of this care is shown in the produce : wheat has 
averaged the last ^nq^ years thirty- five bushels to the 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 411 

acre, oats fifty- seven busliels, rape thirty- three, and Farms. 
beet twenty-two tons. Tlie capital engaged is £16 per 
acre, which does not include outlay on permanent im- 
provements. On the 675 acres there are four full sets of 
farm-buildings. The stables and out-buildings of the 
chateau are converted into twenty-five houses for the 
married labourers. These particulars are abridged from 
the report of th6 judges who had to decide upon the 
prize for high farming in the department in 1877, which 
was given unanimously to M. Thomassin. The report 
goes much more into detail, particularly in the scientific 
part, and is a specimen of w^hat goes on each year in 
every department of France. 

The rents of medium-sized farms run from 30s. to Medium 

Farms. 

40s. per acre, very rarely reaching the latter sum, 
except when close to a town. The neighbourhood of 
Coulommiers seems to be the centre of farms of this 
class, and the average capital is about £8 per acre. 
Horses alone are used, and upon a farm of 250 acres, 
requiring six, there will probably be eight, as the farmer 
will undertake contract- work upon larger holdings. 
There will be twenty cows used for cheese -making, 
which, being well fed, are ready for the butcher when 
off their milk, and sell without loss ; seven pigs fed 
with whey from the dairy, and consumed at the farm ; 
and three hundred sheep. The implements on a 
farm of this size are seldom of a good sort. Horse- 
rakes are seen occasionally, but mowing or reaping 
machines rarely. Threshing-machines are common, and 



412 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Medium moved bj liorse-power. The work is done by two 
Farms- 
carters, a cowman, a yardman, and one female servant ; 

haymaking and harvest-work by extra hands, nsually 

Belgians. Wheat, oats, artificial grasses, some mangolds 

and carrots for the dairy cows, are the only crops grown ; 

the wheat seldom yields more than two quarters and a 

half to the acre ; green fodder is produced considerably 

beyond the wants of the farm, and is sold in Paris; 

lucerne particularly sells well, and the leases are very 

easy as to the sale of straw off the farm, all through 

Brie, so much manure being brought from Paris. The 

produce of such a farm may be thus estimated : — 

"Wheat, £440 ; oats, £160 ; roots and green fodder, 

£225 ; making a total of £825 for vegetable produce. 

Cheese, £400; calves, £20 ; sheep, £125 ; pigs, £20; a 

total of £565 for animal produce, or a gross return of 

£1,390, about £13 13s. per acre. 

i^rais. "^^^ holders of smaller farms cannot grow corn or 

make cheeses ; but they keep cows, and use the milk for 
fattening calves, which they buy from their larger neigh- 
bours when they are a week old. With six or seven cows, 
twenty fat calves can be prepared for market in the year. 
The flesh can only be kept white by the calves being 
fed upon nothing but milk, of which they take about six 
quarts a day the first few days ; and they are muzzled 
to prevent their eating anything else, and are kept in a 
stable darkened and comfortably warm. At the end of 
a couple of months many rearers give them from two to 
six eggs a day each, when they are about ready for 



Calves. 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 413 

market, and thej will then weigh from 250 lbs. to Waives. 
350 lbs. each.. Nowhere is the veal so good as that 
produced by this m.ethod. It was introduced into 
Trance by Cardinal Mazarin, who had a dairy-farm at 
Yincennes, and reared calves upon milk according to the 
Boman fashion. Coulommiers, IS'angis, and Montereau 
send annually nearly 30,000 fat calves to the Paris 
market. These small farmers also occupy themselves 
much with rearing and fattening poultry, especially 
about Meaux and Provins. 



Still lower in the scale of holdings, as judged by Market 

Gardens, 

their size, but not lower as judged by their produce, are 
those which are cultivated as garden-ground. At 
Etampes there are 750 acres cultivated by 1,200 people, 
gardeners and their families. Each acre gives an annual 
produce of more than £65 ; so that from these gardens 
there is sold annually a value of nearly £50,000, in 
artichokes, cauliflowers, salads, gourds, strawberries, &c. 
At Argenteuil, where the land is cut up into portions 
of incredible exiguity, there are less than 20,000 acres 
in the whole canton ; it comprises much land occupied 
by fair- sized holdings, and yet there are as many as 
30,000 distinct properties in the place. It is here that 
is continued that remnant of the vine cultivation which 
used to be extensive round Paris, before prompt and 
cheap conveyance brought better wines at less money 
from a distance ; and this is the nursery where is reared 
that kind of asparagus producing those monstrous heads, 
more astonishing to the eye than pleasing to the palate. 



414 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Market ^^ taste for which, liowever, is declining, as people 
are beginning to prefer vegetables with some flavour in 
tliem. The growth of asparagus is very extensive in 
France : near Orleans there are 7,000 acres among the 
vines ; hundreds of acres, reclaimed from the sea in the 
Bay of Cancale, in IsTormandy, grow asparagus almost 
naturally ; but the plants for this land come chiefly from 
Argenteuil, and a large business is done in supplying 
sets to all parts of Europe, as well as in growing it for 
the ordinary markets. 

Sheep. ^YiQ has always been a large sheep-feeding country, 

but, in common with the rest of France, there is a 
considerable reduction. In 1857 the number returned 
for Seine-et-Marne was 667,448; in 1862 it was 
704,277; in 1866 it was only 640,622; and in 1872 
it had fallen to 474,896, rising again in 1873 to 
581,910. The return of 1862 may be left out of 
consideration, for according to the best opinions it 
deserves none. That of 1872 was no doubt largely 
influenced by the Prussian invasion ; but the returns of 
1866 and 1873 both show a diminution, which has 
probably continued, as the returns of 1872, from de- 
partments not influenced by the invasion, also show a 
decline. The decrease can be accounted for by the fall 
in the value of wool from the merinos, since the great 
increase in the supply from Australia ; and there may 
be a recovery, as meat has risen in price ; or if not a 
recovery in number, there will be more meat from the 
same quantity of sheep, the cross of Leicesters with 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 415 

merinos finding favour on tlie ricli lands in Brie. A sheep. 
very large portion of tlie sheep produce, however, is 
wholly independent of the sort, as so many farmers only 
buy sheep to put up to fat for a short time during the 
pulping season. They find at the fairs a supply of 
sheep from all quarters — small Berrichons from the 
centre ; merinos, pure and crossed, from Champagne ; 
little forest sheep from the Ardennes ; Barbary breeds 
from Provence and Algiers ; German sheep from over 
the Ehine ; and they take whatever they consider comes 
cheapest, there being as good a probability of profit 
from a small light animal costing only a trifle as from 
one of much better frame, but which would involve a 
larger outlay for first cost. Upon the whole, it must 
not be forgotten that the weight has increased in all 
these breeds, and a sheep now means much more meat 
than a sheep did twenty years ago. 

Seine-et-Oise is the French nursery of the merino, 
that breed of sheep which has spread over the greater 
part of France wherever the land is good enough to 
support them, and from France has extended to our 
English colonies. Brought from Spain in 1786, and 
established at Eambouillet, it was not until 1815 that 
the breed was so improved as to be accepted by the 
French farmers. For a number of years improvement 
was continued in the direction of wool-production, but 
with the almost total sacrifice of meat. Latterly, 
judicious selection, and crossing with English breeds, 
have tended to make the merino, if not a good meat- 
producer, yet a much more abundant one than formerly, 



416 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Sheep, while it retains the superiority in its wool ; and the 
problem of getting an animal that will give wool and 
meat — sufficient of both in quantity and quality to 
make the most profitable race for the French farmer — 
seems likely to be solved by the general adoption of the 
improved or crossed merino. The Eambouillet flock — 
the result of a century of thought and care — was saved 
during the occupation of France by the Germans, by 
the energy of the head shepherd, Rouge oreille, who 
started with it on foot on the approach of the Prussians, 
and took it safely into Brittany. (See page 115.) 

Cattle. It is only recently that Brie has become an im- 
portant cattle -feeding country ; fat stock, a " necessary 
evil" elsewhere in France — necessary because manure 
could not be had without it, and an evil because it 
absorbed capital without itself giving any profit — was 
not necessary near Paris, the great towns supplying all 
the manure wanted, in return for the straw and fodder 
sold ; and many large farms never had a head of horned 
cattle upon them from year's end to year's end. The 
system is now far from extinct, and an example has 
been given (page 404) of a most highly-cultivated farm 
of more than 1,000 acres, on which the cattle consisted 
of a single milch cow. The staple of Brie farming was 
corn, wool, green fodder, and on the smaller holdings, 
dairy produce. Since the introduction of beet, the 
increased value of meat, the decrease in the price of 
wool^ and the power of getting milk from long distances, 
a great change has been made. Cattle and sheep are 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 417 

now fatted on pulp ; and with the cattle, as with the cattie. 
sheep, the choice of the breed is subordinate to the 
price. Anything that costs a moderate price, and which 
is likely to improve suflBciently quick in the stalls to 
pay a profit, is bought at the fairs ; so that there is no 
distinct breed in the country. Nearly all the ordinary 
farm-work is done by horses, but the beet-cultivation 
requires deep ploughing, best done by oxen ; and during 
the preparation of the land in spring, and the carting 
of the roots to the distillery in autumn, there is an 
extra press of business, for which working-oxen are 
bought ; and as this extra work is completed, they are 
put up and fatted. Twenty years ago working-oxen 
were unknown, now they are largely used ; but the 
main stock of cattle still consists of dairy-cows for 
milk- supply and cheese-making. Out of 167,888 head 
of cattle returned in the two departments in 1873, 
123,051 were cows, only 2,400 bullocks. But this 
return may very well not represent the state of the 
stock truly, as during the height of the work connected 
with beet, and during the pulping season, the number 
would be greatly larger than during summer ; the sheds 
may be filled two or three times in the course of the 
year, and many farms may have forty to a hundred 
oxen from September to April, and perhaps none from 
May to August. The fatting of stock on these farms 
is so purely a matter of immediate profit and loss, that 
unless the profit is tolerably certain, the business is 
dropped for a time, and the pulp is stored away in pits, 
to be brought out at a future period, when prospects 

B B 



418 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 

Cattle. are more encouraging. Upon a farm in Seine-et-Oise, 
in the spring of 1876, of 1,000 acres, where 1,200 sheep 
are usually fed, there was not a single head, and only 
sixty cattle, instead of two or three hundred. Straw 
was dear, and store-stock was dear ; and it was safer to 
sell the straw off the farm in Paris, and bring back 
manure. 

The working-oxen are bought of the Charolais, Par- 
thenay, Limousin, or Salers breed ; those for supplying 
milk, of the Flemish ; and those for making cheeses, of 
the l^orman ; and those for fatting, of any breed that 
comes to hand. The larger farmers are discontinuing 
milk-produce, cheese-making, and the fattening of calves, 
finding a better occupation for their highly-rented lands 
in attending to the growth of beef and mutton, and in 
distilling. The change is indicated by the returns of 
the cattle : for whereas the total stock in the two de- 
partments was 162,176 in 1866, it was 158,551 in 
1872, a diminution of only 3,625, while the cows had 
decreased from 133,217 to 118,187, a diminution of 
more than 15,000; the calves in 1866 were 16,349, in 
1872 only 14,215 ; in the same periods the young stock 
had increased from 8,690 in 1866 to 20,739 in 1872. 

Cheese. It is by its cheeses that Brie is best known, and they 

are made upon all the medium-sized farms, and still 
upon some of the larger ones. They bring in very 
useful ready money, upon which the farmer depends 
for his weekly outgoings. At some of the farms 
a kind of soft cheese is made, at a time when milk 



ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE. 419 

is abundant, for immediate nse. M. Decauville, for Cheese. 
instance, turns out in the summer 300 to 350 cheeses 
daily, whicli are really not much more than curds, and 
which sell some at 3d., and some at Id. each. 

The chief business, however, is in the ordinary and 
well-known Brie cheese, weighing about one pound, 
and to make which about three quarts of milk are used. 
It sells at from Is. to Is. 3d, per pound wholesale. 

The cheese production in Seine-et-Marne amounted 
in 1873 to a total of very close upon £400,000, of 
which £116,000 worth was made at Coulommiers, 
£50,000 at Provins, £162,000 at Meaux, £32,000 at 
Pontainebleau, and £25,000 at Melun. Meaux is the 
great market for the supply of Paris, and presents a 
curious sight on market-days, from the great piles of 
cheeses on sale ; £4,000 worth are often sold on* a single 
market-day. That made at Coulommiers differs from 
the ordinary Brie, and retains its own distinctive name. 
There is also another cheese made from much richer 
milk than the common Brie : it is thicker, of finer 
flavour, and keeps much longer ; it does not, however, 
enter into general consumption, the price by retail 
being more than 2s. per pound. 

The manufacture of the Brie and Coulommiers cheese 
is far from being confined to the country of its origin, 
Seine-et-Marne ; a large quantity is made in the neigh- 
bouring departments. The second prize for Brie cheese 
at the Paris show in February, 1873, was won by a 
maker from Seine-et-Oise, and the first prize for Coulom- 
miers went to the department of La Meuse. 

BB 2 



420 ILE DE FRANCE AND BRIE, 

Potatoes'' Potatoes are largely grown in Seine-et-Oise, and 

are used in manufactures, sugar, syrup, and starch, being 
made from them. There having been some idea that 
the yield was decreasing, M. Dailly, who farms about 
900 acres of his own land, not far from Paris, an estate 
owned and farmed also by his father, and who has always 
from 50 to 100 acres under potatoes, has produced the 
following statement from his books : — 

Tons, cwts. qrs. lbs. £ s. d. 

From 1833 to 1842 the average 

yield per acre per annum was 7 1 1 7 . 

From 1843 to 1852 ditto ... 6 1 2 13. 

From 1853 to 1862 ditto ...5 3 3 17. 

From 1863 to 1872 ditto ...9 16 1 17. 

The disease decreased the yield per acre between 1853 
and 1862, but increased the money produce. Since the 
disease has disappeared, both the yield per acre and the 
amount in money have sensibly increased. 

Lucerne.T Lucemc, liowcver, has really decreased, the produce 
being : — 

Bnudles per Acre, Cwts. per Money yield Price per 

of 12 lbs. each. Acre. per Acre. 100 Bundle?. 

From 1833 to 1842 ... 565 ... 62 ... £11 6 ...£2 

„ 1843 to 1852 ... 560 ... 60 ... 8 13 ... 1110 

„ 1853 to 1862 ... 528 ... 56-2... 9 15 ... 117 

„ 1863 to 1872 ... 477 ... 51 ... 8 16 ... 117 



. Average 


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8 



FEANCHE COMTE. 



" To Orecliamp, from Besangon, the country is bold and rocky, with 
fine woods, and yet it is not agreeable ; it is like mar^y men that 
have estimable points in their character, and yet we cannot love 
them. 

"Poorly cultivated, too." — Arthur Young, 1789. 

"Franche Comte is Switzerland, with its thousand varied beauties, 
now graceful, now sublime ; nothing is wanting but the '^"'"ernal 
snows. Two things explain the agricultural development which has 
forced its way through the asperity of the climate: one the s)il, a 
mixture of clay and limestone, which has received frori Humboldt 
the name of "Jurassic;" and the other the extent of natural grass, 
caused by the abundance of water. While in Champagne and 
•Burgundy the twentieth part of the land only is under grass, hero it 
is a sixth; this happy proportion tells its own tale." — LncrCE de 
Lavergne. 



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FRAN CHE COMTE. 423 

Franche Comte is half covered by tlie Jura moun- 
tains and their spurs, running the whole length of the 
province, a distance of nearly 150 miles. Steep on the 
side overlooking Switzerland, these mountains shelve off 
on the French side in various parallel ranges gradually 
lessening in height. In some places as many as nine 
distinct ranges can be traced, but four are chiefly noted : 
the first and principal one rises in various points to 
4,000 and 5,000 feet; the second to 3,000 and 3,500 
feet; the third to 2,500 and 3,000; the last to 2,500 
and 1,500. Between these ranges there are bleak 
and monotonous plains, wet and marshy, with beds 
of peat and much pasture-land. On the higher levels 
are forests of pine ; on the lower, of oak, beech, and 
birch. The pines are among the finest timber-trees in 
Europe ; those placed among the first class are ninety 
feet high and a yard in diameter at six feet from the 
ground, and the best of them sell for £10 and £12 on 
the spot. One-fourth of Franche Comte is covered 
with forest. 

It is a country of many lakes, springs, and streams. 
Some lakes are long and narrow, formed by the heading 
back of the waters of the rivers, and these lakes are 
shallow ; others are round, filling up the funnel-shaped 
abrasion worn in the soft limestone rocks, ''combes '' as 
they are called in the country ; others again are bounded 
by steep cliffs, which leave no room for traffic round the 
margins. The springs issue from deep caverns, in many 
cases they are only the re-appearance of rivers which 
have sunk through faults in the structure of the soil, 



424 FRANC HE COMTE. 

and they are of strength, to turn the wheels of large 
mills : some give regularly twenty-five gallons per 
second; others, after much rain — or at all events one 
other^is said to vomit forth as much as a hundred cubic 
yards in the same time. The streams rush in deep 
gorges and defiles worn through the soft rocks, losing 
themselves sometimes in summer in the fissures or under 
masses of rock, re-appearing in a full volume. The 
water-power is utilised by many mills, and waterfalls 
abound. One, on the Ain, is fifty feet high and 400 
feet broad ; another, on the Doubs, is eighty feet high. 
The soil thus corroded and eaten away gives great 
variety to the scenery, the waters are bright and pure, 
not thick and cloudy with snow-water as in Switzerland ; 
indeed, it is Switzerland without the crowds of tourists 
and beggars, with homely inns instead of grand hotels, 
and with a charm of its own in the quietude of its deep 
forests and green meadows. 

The north of Tranche Comte contains the southern 
part of the granite mountains of the Vosges, where all 
the valleys are alike, consisting of meadows watered by 
clear torrents dashing from saw- mill to saw-mill. Above 
the meadows there is some cultivation, then comes the 
sombre forest with its rocks and cascades, higher still are 
the cold and desert plains and bare peaks. 

The soil of the main part of Franche Comte is 
the Jurassic limestone, abounding in fossils and with 
banks of coralline formation, the richest of all soils, and 
its richness is shown in its 100,000 acres of vineyards 
and its growth of tobacco and maize. 



FRAN CHE COMTE. 425 

No general statement of the climate of such a Climate. 
country would give a true idea of what it is. It varies 
in every village, from the higher plains, where there 
are eight months of winter with thirty feet of snow, to 
the region of maize and the vine. The yearly rainfall 
reaches in many places to as much as sixty inches. The 
river Ain receives more supply of direct rain than any 
river in Prance of its extent. The lower part of the 
province is the outlet for the waters of the mountains, 
and the outlet is often insufficient. Yesoul, the capital 
of Haute Saone, is often under water, and the grass- 
lands in the valley are flooded one year in three. Some 
of the highest permanently-inhabited spots in Europe 
are in Franche Comte, and there are few towns of the 
size of Pontarlier, with its 5,000 inhabitants, so highly 
placed, it being over 2,500 feet above the level of 
the sea. Other towns and villages range from 600 
to 1,500 feet; Besangon, the capital, is 700 feet. 

Tranche Comte is well populated, having 144 in- Popuia- 
habitants to the square mile, though nearly half the 
country is waste and forest. Twenty-three per cent, 
are classed as urban and seventy-six and a half as rural; 
but though three-fourths of the people use land, they 
are engaged in manufactures at their homes ; they are 
not scattered about as are the inhabitants of other 
country districts ; 720,000 live in towns or large villages, 
and only 145,000 are isolated. There always was a 
greater power of self-government here than elsewhere in 
France : the name of the province sufficiently indicates 



426 FRANC HE COMTE. 

Popuia- tliis. It reverted to tlie Empire of Germany on tlie 
death of Charles the Bold, and even when seized by 
Louis XIV. retained many of its privileges. During 
the middle ages Pontarlier was the seat of an indepen- 
dent confederation. Though the province was about the 
most lightly taxed in France, it supported the Eevolution 
very warmly, but when Lons le Saulnier tried to give 
itself, in 1793, an administration independent of the 
central authority, or probably only wished to maintain 
or enlarge local liberties already possessed, it promptly 
found that the Eepublic was to be " one and indivisible." 

There is a considerable leaven of Protestantism in 
the province. Doubs, out of a total population of 
283,000, has 33,000 Protestants ; only five departments 
have more. There are 6,500 inhabitants in the town of 
Montbeliard, of whom only 1,200 are Eoman Catholic; 
the others are chiefly Anabaptists, or Protestants of the 
Augsburg confession. 

The Tranche Comtois have the reputation of being a 
steady, thoughtful race of people, -much given to hard 
study, to which the long winter evenings are devoted. 
It is said that they send up more pupils to the Poly- 
technic school at Paris than any other province ; and 
their judgment is thought so highly of, that "the 
opinion formed in the Jura to-day will be the opinion 
of all France a month afterwards." 

But living is very hard in this cold country, and 
the inhabitants possess those qualities that make them 
valued elsewhere. Between the census of 1866 and 
that of 1872 the population diminished nearly 4 per 



I^ RANG HE COMTE. 427 

cent., tliougli families are large. The people emigrate, Popuia- 
not in masses, at one time of the year, to return in 
another, as in Auvergne and Limousin, but individually; 
and Comtois are to be found in situations of trust in 
every town of note in France. It seems always to have 
been so. When the country belonged to Spain the 
Comtois spread themselves over the vast empire be- 
longing to Charles Y. Twenty thousand were to be 
found in Madrid, and as many in the Milanais; 12,000 
were in Rome, where the quarter they occupied was 
called " Little Burgundy." Cardinal Granvelle, the 
minister of Charles Y. and Philip I.L, was a Comtois. 

The people rank as well physically as they do intel- 
lectually. The standard for the army under the old 
form of conscription was five feet seven inches, the 
highest in France ; and out of 1,000 drawn only twenty- 
four in Doubs and thirty-two in Jura were rejected for 
not coming up to this minimum. This places Franche 
Comte first among the provinces of France for stature ; 
at least, Doubs is first among the departments, and 
Jura third, the adjoining department of Cote d'Or 
being second, but only a trifle above Jura. This corner 
of France seems to contain the biggest men in the 
country, the three departments above named and Aisne 
being the four highest in the list. Flanders, Artois, 
and Picardy come next, with thirty-seven in the 1,000 
rejected at the same standard; whereas, by contrast, in 
Limousin about 170 out of every 1,000 were rejected 
for not reaching the low minimum of five feet four 
inches. 



428 FRANCHE COMTE. 

The true Comtois, found chiefly on the high table- 
land of the Jura, are short in the body, but long in the 
leg, with broad shoulders and muscular arms. In the 
Middle Ages they hired themselves out as men-at-arms 
{gens (Tarmes) to the municipalities of Italy, whose 
inhabitants, unused to fighting on horseback, could not 
without some such help, have maintained their freedom 
against the nobles. They usually left their country 
after the harvest, and returned in time for the harvest 
of the following year, or before the heats of summer 
rendered fighting in heavy armour next to impos- 
sible in Italy. They were just the men to swing a 
mace or wield a two-handed sword. Some remained 
with the free companies permanently ; and a contingent 
of them joined the Crusade of the thirteenth century, 
and on the fall of Constantinople, in 1205, founded, 
under one of their leaders, the Count of Champlitte, the 
duchy of Athens. 

Such a people must be well educated, and no pro- 
vince equals Tranche Comte in this respect. Doubs 
heads all France, with less than 7 per cent, of its 
inhabitants over six years old unable to read and write ; 
Jura is fourth, with rather more than 9 per cent. ; 
Haute Saone ninth, with 1 2 per cent ; the other 
highly-educated departments, with 10 per cent, and less, 
are all adjoining rranche Comte. What a contrast to 
Brittany, Berri, and Limousin, where more than half 
the people of a teachable age can neither read nor 
write ! These people in the Jura are not only very well 



FRANC HE COMTE, 429 

educated, but they know liow to make use of tlieir Education 
knowledge;, and, as an instance, on Sunday afternoons 
in summer lecturers attend the villages, and having 
read a paper on some farming subject applicable to the 
neighbourhood, a discussion takes place with the prac- 
tical farmers. These itinerant lectures are very well 
attended. 

In the region of maize and the vine the land is of Farmmo-. 
great value, and many of the peasant farmers are rich, 
holding estates worth from £1,000 up to £4,000; not 
in all cases having a great extent of property to show for 
this value, but making it bring in a good income by 
their incessant and intelligent labour. Arable land is 
worth here £60 per acre, and vineyards from £30 up ta 
£200. This high value is maintained because those who 
wish to have land in this district must buy it, and if 
they cannot pay for it they must, and do, borrow. 
Those who have money cannot invest it in land to let it 
so as to pay anything like a fair return, they are always 
largely outbid by those who mean to work the land 
themselves ; they have, however, their compensation in 
lending their money at good interest on mortgage, and 
the interest is paid with great punctuality. The title- 
deeds of very much of the land in Franche Comte are in 
the strong boxes of local capitalists, and the landowners 
are largely in debt, but they are not, therefore, more in- 
volved than are the subscribers to building and land 
societies in England, and the debts decrease yearly. 

The farms are very small, so small that it is evident 



430 FRANC HE COMTE. 

Farming. iTLucli of the earnings of a family must come from the 
manufacturing work done at home by some of the 
members. There are 92,000 holdings, of which 50,000 
are under twelve acres, and not 800 of 100 acres and 
over, in the whole of the province. Farm-labourers seem 
hardly to exist, as only 2,000 are returned, male and 
female. This account, no doubt fairly enough repre- 
sents the state of the farming in the lower and richer 
districts of the country, where the climate is warmer, 
but in the higher districts each village has an important 
quantity of common land, which allows some stock to be 
kept, but which does not count in the individual holding. 
There are also many villages which appear to have made 
some appropriation of the common land, as each house- 
hold has an almost equal portion. Here the pastures 
are improved by proper manuring, and, indeed, are now 
very generally ceasing to be pastures, as the cattle are 
kept at home, and the grass is cut and brought to them. 
These villages seem to form even now so many small 
republics, and no doubt before the consolidation of 
Prance into one country they were really quite inde- 
pendent of outside control. 

Down in the plain wheat grows well, the yield being 
commonly four, and sometimes up to seven quarters to 
the acre ; but in the higher regions it falls, in some 
cases, as low as ten bushels, and there, undoubtedly, the 
growth is unprofitable. Four to six bullocks must be 
kept to do the work on a farm of SO to 120 acres, a 
large farm, and all the crops, wheat, oats, and potatoes 
put together fall much below the produce that could be 



FRANC HE COMTE. 431 

obtained from cows if it were all grass, and the great Farming. 
labour of ploughing, sowing, and harvesting would be 
saved. The bullocks when not engaged on the farm are 
employed in carting timber, but their additional earnings 
do not compensate for the loss of the produce of the 
cows. Wherever arable farming and carting have been 
given up, and the land turned to grass, there wealth has 
increased, wherever arable culture and carting continue, 
there the people remain poor. 

The crop that brings in most money in the rich 
plain is that from the vineyards, but the special pro- 
duction of the Jura is Grruyere cheese. It is this which 
brings comfort to a district in which, until its extension, 
the people were sunk in misery. 

The stock is of the breed called the " femiline," good battle 
as a worker, good as a milker, and fairly good for the 
butcher ; but, like all breeds that have this character, 
not specially good in either capacity. It is, perhaps, 
best as a milker, and now that milk-production is so 
largely extending, it will, no doubt, improve as care is 
taken to develop this faculty. The breed is sufficiently 
good to be improved without the introduction of a cross, 
and it is acclimatised to the country. The cows now 
yield from fourteen to twenty-one pints per day, after 
calving, but the best give from thirty to forty, and there 
is no reason why all should not increase up to this 
amount, as the grass becomes better managed, more 
amply manured, and as more clover is grovni, and when 
the cattle themselves receive more attention. 



432 FRANC HE COMTE. 

Cattle. The sliow atYesonl (1877) evidenced clearly enough 

what might be done by proper selection. The fifty- 
five males and sixty females showed a marked supe- 
riority over those met with generally through the 
country, but the shorthorn crosses were a failure ; the 
native breed must become better than it is before the 
shorthorn can be advantageously used. 

Cheese. As the chccscs Weigh three-quarters of a hundred- 
weight, and are as big round as a cart-wheel, the milk 
from many cows is required to make one. No farmer 
has sufficient milk at one time, few indeed having as 
many as three cows, and it takes 300 quarts to make a 
cheese. The inhabitants of the village therefore unite, 
and each sends in what quantity he can to the general 
factory. The amount he sends is put to his credit, and 
on the balance of the sales being made up, he receives 
an amount of money in proportion to the quantity of 
milk he has supplied. 

In 1854 there were 1,250 factories in the two de- 
partments of the Doubs and the Jura, producing cheese 
to the value of £480,000. Now (1876) the amount is 
quite up to £1,200,000, and the quality is considered equal 
to that of the Swiss Gruyere. The butter produce is 
equal to fully one-fourth that of cheese, in addition to it. 

The system of manafacture in common is of very 
great antiquity, but originally was confined to the 
higher mountains. It has gradually spread ; and now 
there is not a village, even down in what is called the 
plain, the low country, without its factory. 



FRANC HE COMTE. 433 

Taking the average through, the year, five quarts of cheese. 
milk make one pound of cheese ; but some of the milk is 
skimmed. The half may be skimmed during most of the 
year, but until the grass is abundant one-third or two- 
fiffchs ought not to be exceeded. In April it takes three 
and a half pints of cream to make one pound of butter, 
in October two and a half pints are sufficient. Butter is 
now making a higher value relatively than cheese, there- 
fore in some places more cream is taken, even from as 
much as four-fifths of the milk. The cheese suffers 
materially in quality, but there is more profit to the 
farmers. As an instance of the improvement that 
can be obtained, and that may become general. Dr. 
Bousson gives the result of his experience when he 
was a dairy-farmer, and says that from 1839 to 1844, 
keeping from twenty- eight to twenty-nine cows^ he 
made yearly two and a half tons of cheese ; in 1846, 
with twenty-five cows, he made three and a half 
tons; and from 1847 to 1851, with only twenty-three 
cows, he made four tons, at each period using the 
same land. 

The district of Poligny, with 71,649 inhabitants, 
with 195 factories, made cheese, in 1875, which sold for 
£133,000, and butter which made nearly £40,000. 

The most complete account we have of a village in 
the Jura is that of the village of ChamoUe, which has 218 
inhabitants, of whom forty-eight are shareholders in the 
cheese-factory, and own among them 190 cows. In 
1873 they made 748 cheeses, weighing twenty-four and 
a half tons, which sold for £1,660, They also 'oold 
c c 



434 FRANCHE COMTE. 

Cheese. l^utter to tlie amount of £414. They reared and kept 
eijjlitjr calves, worth 48s. each, valne £192; they sold 
110 calves when young, at 24s. each, for £132. The 
milk consumed by the inhabitants, and the whey, were 
certainly worth £124, making a full total of £2,522, 
or £2,206 in hard cash, besides the eighty calves, the 
household milk, and the whey. The average money 
yield per cow was £13 5s., but each cow gave an average 
of only eight and a quarter pints a day, which is cer- 
tainly capable of being increased. But poor as the 
yield of milk was, the money yield per head was 
£11 10s. for each of the 218 inhabitants of Chamolle. 
These 190 cows certainly did not consume half the 
grass in the parish, as it maintained, in addition to the 
cows, ninety-seven bullocks, four horses, four mules, 
seventy -four heifers and steers — a total of 179 head 
of large cattle — and also sixty-eight year-old calves, 
■fifty pigs, and ten sheep, or 128 small cattle — 307 in 
all. If the productive value of much of this stock 
— say the bullocks and the horses — could be found, it 
would be seen that the balance of profit would go 
heavily in favour of getting rid of them and substi- 
tuting milch-cows : the tendency is in this direction. 
Grass and cows will improve and increase, arable land 
will decrease. Up to seven or eight years ago much 
carting of timber was done at Chamolle, and the people 
were poor ; this has been given up, and the people are 
rich. If there is a bit of land to be sold, there is not 
a man in the place but has money enough in his pocket 
to buy it. 



FRANC HE COMTE. 435 

Tlie village of Chesy is a similar example. There are cheese. 
160 inliabitants, and tliey also have given np carting 
timber and taken to dairy -farming and growing artificial 
grass. They made twenty-five tons of cheese last year 
(1875), and are also growing rich. 

It is a small factory which works up the milk of 
forty or sixty cows, and the small ones do not pay as 
well as the larger ones, because they cannot keep up the 
supply for every day in the year as can those factories 
which are fed by the milk from 100 or 200 cows. 
The return in money seems meagre, being less than lid. 
per quart ; and if butter continues to bear the price it 
does now, and cheese keeps as low, there may be a 
change in the staple farming commodity of Jura, and 
butter may be made instead of cheese. The cattle of 
Doubs and Jura do not meet with ready sale outside 
their own localities, but Haute Saone sells yearly about 
6,000 head for fattening in the north, and here the 
shorthorn cross is admitted, and indeed becoming 
common. 

The pastures in the higher levels are managed 
differently from those in districts which are habitable 
all the year round; being 3,000 feet and more above 
the sea-level, there is food only from June to October, 
and they are let usually to a Swiss cheese-maker, who 
brings some cows with him, and hires others from the 
villages round the foot of the mountain. The cows are 
out-of-doors the whole time the season lasts, and the 
cheese-maker lives and makes his cheeses as best he can 
in a hut. 

c c 2 



Manufac 
tures. 



436 FRANC HE COMTE. 

The manufactures of Franclie Comte are cliiefly 
tliose connected with, clock and watch making, wire, 
bells, toys moved by clockwork ; in some parts a great 
trade is done in polishing stones : at one village, Sept- 
moncel, the weekly wages earned in this trade approach 
£200 ; and much iron is smelted mth charcoal. In the 
forest districts are made household utensils of wood, 
saddlers' joinery, dressmakers' boxes, school rulers, 
brushes, snuff-boxes, chaplets, pipes, buttons, &c., all 
such things as can be worked at home when the people 
are shut up by the snow. At Morez, 400,000 dozens of 
spectacle-glasses are made yearly, and 30,000 roasting- 
jacks. The principal manufacture is that of watches : 
in 1875, 419,984 watches were made in the Jura, and 
only 2,050 in all the rest of France; 49,997 w^ere 
imported. The machine-made American watches 
threaten seriously to interfere with this business. A 
workman by hand turns out 40 watches in a year ; by 
machinery one man can turn out 150, and each part is 
so exactly made that any one can be forwarded by a 
simple order on a post-card, with a certainty of its 
fitting the others. There is an import duty on watches 
in America to the amount of 25 per cent., but in spite 
of that America has hitherto been the best customer of 
Switzerland for watches. The trade is now lost, and the 
number sent has fallen from 360,000 in 1872 to 76,000 
in 1876. France has not been so dependent on America 
as Switzerland, but other markets are likely to be sup- 
plied by the Americans to the exclusion of the French. 

On the visit of Marshal MacMahon to Besan9on, in 



FRANC HE COMT&, 437 

September, 1876, a microscopic watcli was presented to ^anufac- 
Madame McMalion by tbe Watchmakers' Scbool. It 
was so small that to tell the hour a glass of high magni- 
fying power is required. The Due d'Aumale was 
present when this fairy jewel was handed to the 
Marshal, and he related how his ancestor, the Dae de 
Penthievre, wore watches in his vest buttons. Moved 
by this family souvenir to give a fillip to Besan^on trade, 
his highness ordered a set of lilliputian chronometers 
for shirt and wrist studs, which will be ready in time for 
the Exhibition in 1878. (See Times, September 15, 
1876.) The watches worn by the Duke's ancestor were 
not made at Besan9on, as watch-making was only intro- 
duced into the Jura from Switzerland in 1794. 

Growing timber is not farming, and if it were, there Forests. 
would be nothing to say about it, as forests are more 
cut down than planted ; but the existence of timber in 
Franche Comte influences farming very much. The 
State owns 100,000 acres of productive forest in the 
Vosges, and 30,000 in the Jura. Various parishes own 
125,000 in the Jura, and 50,000 in the Yosges. The 
town of Bemiremont sold its cut of fir timber in 1875 
for £3,400; in 1869, the same quantity (3,300 cubic 
yards) made only £2,000; and in 1830, only £1,000. 
In 1810, trees were sold for 10s. and 12s.; the same- 
sized trees would now make £12. The trees that are 
classed as large timber are 100 feet high, and have a 
diameter of from 27 inches to 35 inches at six feet from 
the ground. A tree of 23 inches diameter is worth £4 ; 



438 FRANC HE COMTE. 

Forests, one of 27 inclies £6. The best forest of silver fir is near 
Morteau, not far from the waterfall of the Doubs, and 
is, indeed, the finest in France ; the trees are probably 
150 years old. The finest pine-forests are those of Arc, 
and Maublin in the Jura, near Levier. 

p^M^^^'~ Outside Tranche Comte, but connected with it by its 
arming, -^^q rivcrs, the Saone and the Ain, is the very curious dis- 
trict, the old principality of the Dombes, about 180,000 
acres, so covered with ponds, chiefly artificial, that on the 
map there seems to be more water than dry land. This 
system has long been part of the regular routine of 
farming. The ponds are kept in water for three or four 
years, and are stocked with fish, bought when two or 
three years old from dealers who make a business of rearing 
young fish for sale. The water is easily drawn ofi* — the 
sluice-gates have only to be raised, and, as the whole 
country is on a slope, it runs away naturally. The pond 
land is dried by open drains, and ploughed, and is kept 
under cultivation for three or four years, during which 
time it produces abundant crops, without any addition of 
manure. The first year it is apt to be found too rich, 
and produces more straw than grain. Where it is strong, 
wheat is sown the first year, and oats for the next two in 
succession ; where the land is less strong, only oats and 
barley are sown. When water cultivation is not recurred 
to, these drained ponds form good natural pastures, and, 
indeed, they at all times are the only spots where good 
crops can be seen in the country, all elsewhere being poor 
and miserable ; no wonder, then, that the inhabitants 



DOMBES. 439 

cling to tliem in spite of their unhealthiness, and in Pond- 
spite of repeated decisions that sucli a system should be ^^°^ 
discontinued. They are, however, disappearing gradu- 
ally, but difficulties are met with, as there is sometimes 
a joint ownership, one person owning the land, and 
another having the right of rearing fish. A company, 
assisted by a contribution from the State, has drained 
within the last ten years 15,000 acres of ponds. Tne 
work has been done without difficulty, but with irregular 
success as regards profit in individual cases ; and upon 
the whole there has been, in consequence of the opera- 
tions, a decrease in the yield of farming produce. The 
use of green forage and the increase of stock are, however, 
rapidly bringing up the produce to a level with its value 
before the drainage, and with a clear and important 
improvement in the public health. There are 30,000 
more acres to be drained, and the marsh fevers retire 
slowly before the progress made. 

The operation requires to be carefully performed, the 
drainage must not bear too large a proportion to the 
extent of the farm, or the farmer could not bear the cost. 
In draining a pond of moderate size, say of forty acres, 
•which under the pond system would bring in an annual 
rental of 20s. per acre, there is an immediate loss of 
quite a third in the produce, besides a great increase in 
the cost of management, and for lime, new buildings, 
implements, stock, &c. ; and the farmer will lose a crop 
of oats which was nearly all profit. In the end there 
will be an advantage; but, in the meantime, heavy sacri- 
fices must be made. Some of the largest ponds ought 



440 DOMBES, 

to remain ; they give a good return, they will be useful 
for irrigation, and they are not so clearly dangerous to 
health as the smaller ones which, alternately dry and 
under water, influence more nearly the population. 



CHAMPAGNE. 



" All the products I see are miserably poor, yet the soil is a good 
loam ; much is left waste to weeds, not being deemed worth sowing, 
that would yield sainfoin worth three guineas an acre. 

" The prominent feature of Champagne is chalk ; in great tracts 
it is thin and poor. The southern part, as from Chalons to Troyes, 
&c., has, from its poverty, acquired the name of pouilleux, or lousy. 
The appropriating such land to sainfoin is little known here." — 
Arthur Young, 1788. 

"Although still one of the least populous provinces of France, its 
prosperity exceeds what might be expected from its natural sterility. 
This is owing to its manufactures, which employ half the population ; 
the other half attends to farming, and produces a result remarkable 
for such a soil. With the help of plantations of firs and sheep, these 
wretched plains are becoming wholly changed. Artificial grasses, 
such as sainfoin, are increasingly used, and root-cultivation is making 
good progress." — Leonce de Lavergne, 1866. 



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CHAMPAGNE, 443 

As monotonous as Beauce, without its fertility ; as Soil. 
sparsely populated, as Berri, without its interest and 
charm, the largest portion of Champagne consists of 
vast bald plains of dusty chalk. Plantations of firs, 
made during recent years, affording shelter from bleak 
winds, and furnishing some nourishment to the ground, 
are slowly improving the character of the soil. Of 
natural grass there is none ; the growth of such artificial 
grasses as can flourish upon almost pure chalk — such as 
sainfoin — is extending, and, with the assistance of sheep, 
cultivation is carried on ; but it wants the main basis of 
all cultivation — a soil from which considerably more 
can be got out than is put in ; and Champagne is too 
niggardly in its rewards for the labour bestowed upon 
it. The labour, however, is so intense, that the results 
are remarkable considering the poverty of the in- 
strument. 

The benefit to this country from the system of^^^^^^" 
plantations of firs may be' judged to be great, from the 
advantage that has resulted to those who devised it, and 
have carried it out. Two brothers began some years 
ago to buy land, and to plant it with belts of firs, selling 
it when improved, and buying other land to be treated 
in the same way. They are said to have realised a 
fortune of over £100,000 by this process, and their 
country has benefited still more largely. The tree used 
was the Austrian pine. 

The valleys of the Marne, the Seine, the Aube, and Valleys. 



ties 



444 CHAMPAGNE. 

tlie Yonne are, of course, exceptions to this description. 
The cultivation and production there are the same and 
as good as those of any other part of France under 
similar conditions ; and they are not typical of Cham- 
pagne. The small quantity of land under vines is the 
only other exception to the general poverty of the 
country. 

Proper- There are some large properties in Champagne, but 

wholly in immense forests, the annual value of which is 
small. The land generally is divided into medium- 
sized and small properties ; the former of these are in 
the main cultivated by those who own them, and estates 
of from 250 to 300 acres, got together by hard working 
and hard saving, are by no means uncommon. A large 
proportion of the landowners are clothworkers as well 
as farmers, and the rattle of the shuttle mingles with 
the sounds of rural life. Nowhere has the sale of large 
properties by division into smaller ones had more 
extension than in Champagne. They often sell at rates 
that do not pay 1 per cent, on the purchase ; and much 
land is now worth double, treble, and even quadruple 
its price of forty years ago. Nowhere perhaps in 
France is the division of land carried to such an extent. 
There are here some millions of small freeholds ; owners 
have their little estates scattered about into a score of 
fragments separate from each other. Such a division 
stops any chance of good farming, causes enormous loss 
of time to the workman, necessitates the faulty system 
of a flock of sheep in common, uniformity of cropping, 



CHAMPAGNE, 445 

common riglits of herbage, &c. The equal division of 
property has existed in Champagne from the earliest 
times. By the old law of the country — called the 
"Coutume de Troyes" — all property was equally divided 
among the children. The nobility, in quite early times, 
by marriage with the traders of the country, who were 
then merchants dealing with the chief commercial 
marts of Europe (Troyes, the capital, having in the thir- 
teenth century 50,000 inhabitants), lost their position 
of nobles, and the whole country became strongly 
democratic. 

The absence of farmsteads in France is very srenerally Farm- 

•^ ^ -^ steads. 

remarked; in Champagne there are hardly any. The 
cultivators live in villages often a long way apart ; land, 
therefore, near these villages is of extravagant value ; 
that at a distance, compelling long journeys to and from 
work, and requiring extra labour in cartage of manure 
and produce, is proportionately cheap, and is badly 
farmed. These villages present a curious spectacle of 
agricultural activity. In the morning the horn of the 
village shepherd summons the flock to the common 
pasturage, and each doorway furnishes its contingent of 
sheep and pigs ; the cattle are taken out to the owner's 
plot, or to the roadside, to graze ; in the evening they 
return in droves to drink at the public fountain. The 
labourers leave in the morning and return in the 
evening in company, it seems like one great family. 
At harvest-time the loaded wagons approach the village 
from all points of the horizon, and through the open 



446 CHAMPAGNE. 

Farm- doorwavs of the barns can be seen tlie piles of ripened 

steads. "^ . ^ f 

sheaves ; the thumping of the nail and the humming of 
the threshing-machine mingling with the noise of the 
loom, form a strange contrast to the dreary solitude of 
the open country. The same scenes may be observed 
in towns even of some importance. This organisation 
is owing in some degree to the want of water through 
the country, but also probably to the necessities of 
defence, Champagne being a kind of debateable land 
between France and Germany. 

Crops. 3u^t though the above is a fair description of a large 

part of Champagne, there must be a very considerable 
portion of the country more productive than this would 
indicate. Two-thirds of the total area are arable, and. 
of these two-thirds a sixth part, 400,000 acres, is under 
wheat, yielding an average of twenty-five bushels to the 
acre, much above the average of France ; a fifth part, 
500,000 acres, is under oats ; rye is soAvn to the extent 
of 230,000 acres yearly ; barley only to about half that 
quantity, but the quality of the Champagne barley is 
greatly esteemed. The wine produce, which has 
carried the name of Champagne to the remotest corners 
of the globe, occupies only a small area, some 100,000 
acres^ which yields nearly a million sterling to the farmer, 
and an indefinite sum to the manufacturers and dealers. 



Popuia- The population is small, onl}^ 115 to the square 

mile, and is classed as 30 per cent, urban and 70 
per cent, rural, about the average of all France. Of 



CHAMPAGNE, 447 

tlie total population, 634,000, only 10 per cent, is Popuia- 
returned as living scattered, and nine-tenths as living 
collected together; this will be understood from what 
has been already said, but it would be wrong to suppose 
that nine-tenths of the population were townsfolk. 
There is in Champagne so great a mingling of country 
work, and such work as is usually done in manufactories, 
that it is not easy to calculate what proportion is em- 
ployed in manufactures ; probably fully one-half is so 
employed, but not solely. There are two towns greatly 
dependent upon woollen manufactures — Eeims and 
Troyes. Eeims, indeed, is one of the largest towns in 
France, only nine exceeding it in population : Chalons, 
with 17,000 inhabitants, and Epernay, with 13,000, are, 
with Eeims, great centres of the wine-trade. The popu- 
lation has decreased in about the same proportion as that 
of the rest of France, but the department of the Marne, 
taken alone, shows a slight increase between the census 
of 1866 and that of 1872. 

As regards instruction. Champagne comes out well, ij^tiuca- 
the proportion of those over six years of age who 
can neither read nor write being only 12 per cent, 
against the average of 30 per cent, for all France. 
This seems to contradict the vulgar opinion as to the 
intelligence of the Champenois, which is expressed in a 
saying of a nature similar to the English one about 
Essex calves, " quatre vingt dix neuf moutons ef tm 
Champenois font cent betes ^'^ and with about as much 
truth, though probably it may have its foundation in 



448 CHAMPAGNE. 

Edu ation ^ simplicity of character wliich. may render the Cham.- 
penois more amenable to instruction than the inhabi- 
tants of some other countries. At the agricultural show 
at Eeims, in 1876, the prizes given by M. Droche for 
long service in the department of the Marne were 
adjudged to eight labourers who had been in the same 
service for over fifty years ; twelve to those over forty 
years ; sixteen to those over twenty-five years. Out 
of these thirty- six, thirteen were shepherds. 

Cattle. There is no special breed of cattle in Champagne, and 

the stock consists almost wholly of cows and a few bulls. 
They are brought from any country where the breed has 
a reputation for producing milk. They are Norman, 
Dutch, and Swiss generally, with some few shorthorns. 
There are now a good many of the small Breton cows, 
which are taking the place of goats ; allowing for what 
the goats waste, a Breton cow can be kept as cheaply 
as a goat. The calves are not reared, but fatted, and the 
veal from Champagne has a reputation in the Paris 
market, which puts it on a level with the best in France. 
The calf as soon as it is dropped, and has been licked 
over by its mother, is placed in the stall where it is to 
remain until ready for market, and is fed from the pail 
from the first day. For the first fortnight it is fed three 
times a day, after that twice. It has as much milk as it 
will drink. It takes about three months to fat a calf 
properly, and towards the end of the process it will drink 
the milk of two, or even of three cows. The Champagne 
calves are noted for the whiteness of their flesh, which \^ 



CHAMPA GNE, 44 9 

a great element in the value of the meat. If the veins Cattle. 
of the mouth and the eyes are a pale pink, it is judged 
that the meat will be white ; if red, that it will die a 
bad colour. The dry, sapless food from the thin 
chalky soil is supposed to assist in this formation of 
white meat. Cows fed upon more succulent grasses 
produce offspring more full of blood, and the milk 
from them would be more likely to give a redder blood 
to the calf. 

The cattle in Champagne are all stall-fed, and all 
kept for the production of milk. When not used for 
fatting calves, it is employed for making cheeses, of 
which there are three or four different kinds, having a 
local, and even a general reputation. The milch cows 
are highly fed, so that when they run dry, a very little 
preparation makes them fit for the butcher. It may be 
said that no cattle at all are reared in Champagne. 

On the chalk soils of Champagne, where the land is Siieep. 
poor, herbage scarce, and water not plentiful, sheep form 
the principal animal produce — the sole, indeed, as sheep 
alone could live upon the short spare grass. The clip of 
wool gives the most ready money, and the Champagne 
labourer is a born shepherd. The breed is here exclu- 
sively the merino. On the low lands, where the soil is 
damp, and therefore not suitable for the merinos pure, 
a cross with the Leicesters is very general ; but this 
cross, or even that with the Southdown, is not in favour 
with the bulk of Champagne farmers. At a recent sale 
by auction after the show at Bar-sur-Aube, sixteen 

D D 



450 CHAMPAGNE. 

Sheep. Leicester rams were put up, but not a bid was made, and 
only two found buyers privately afterwards, At the fat- 
stock shows the merinos with a Leicester cross are largely 
in a majority ; but a wrong inference would be drawn if 
it were supposed that they at all represented the cha- 
racter of the sheep in Champagne ; the land could not 
support such animals, and as none could compete with 
the Leicester cross, none are shown. The prizes go to 
the same flockmasters year after year, men who farm 
much better land than that of Champagne generally, who 
can grow roots, and who farm highly. These gentlemen 
take great pains to improve their breed. Among the 
most notable are the Baron Walckenaer, at Paraclet, 
and the Comte de Launay, at Clery. Their establish- 
ments, and those of some others, are very important, and 
though conducted with enterprise, and not restricted to 
the old routine, their owners do not forget that every 
operation ought to end in profit any more than does the 
smallest farmer in the province ; but it is so certain 
that the prizes must go to these breeders that ordinary 
farmers do not care to exhibit, and at the shows at 
Eeims the entries for sheep have fallen off from 359 in 
1861 to 286 in 1868, and as low as 170 in 1876. 



Cheese. 



At the extreme east of Champagne are the two 
large manufactories of imitation Brie cheese of Messrs. 
Bailleux, Adrien, & Co. — the one at Noyers and 
the other at Courtisols — which absorb an average of 
nearly 18,000 quarts of milk for every day in the year. 
Tliere are others of the same kind in this part of the 



CHAMPAGNE. 45] 

country, but none so large, nor any established on so Cheese. 
perfect a system, or with, such complete appliances. 

The manufactory at Noyers is the larger of the two. 
The buildings cover three-quarters of an acre, and 
comprise fifty pig-sties, stabling for ten horses, rooms 
for heating the milk, a room for making the cheese 
which covers 400 square yards, drying-rooms, cellars, 
engine-room, residence, &c. There is a good garden, 
and a small farm of twenty- five acres. 

The milk is all bought from farmers ; and during the 
year 1873 as many as 2,123 cowkeepers, in 134 separate 
communes, supplied about 1,500,000 gallons of milk. 

The milk is collected in tins holding, some nine, 
some eighteen quarts ; and the collection is contracted 
for at the rate of one halfpenny per gallon for any 
distance not exceeding six miles. The contractors 
receive in addition as much whey as will fatten three 
pigs ; they also make some profit on cheeses they sell 
in the neighbourhood, and which they can buy at cost 
price. 

Five a.m. is the time at which the milk should 
arrive at the factory; and on receipt of a sufficient 
quantity, it is poured through a hair-sieve into two 
large double caldrons, the inner one of copper, the 
outer one of iron, and between the two water circulates 
heated by steam. These caldrons hold each of them 
nearly 300 gallons. The requisite heat of 77° in 
summer, and 86° in winter, is reached in about fifteen 
minutes for the first delivery, and after that in about 
ten minutes for ' each succeeding one. As soon as the 
D D 2 



452 CHAMPAGNE. 

Cheese, niilk is ready it is discliarged throngli a wide trough 
to tlie cheese-room, and is dehvered through taps placed 
at intervals into flat tubs, holding each about thirteen 
gallons. The proper quantity of rennet is now added, 
and in about three-quarters of an hour the milk begins 
to turn and some cream to rise ; this is removed and 
made into butter. In about three hours from the first 
introduction of the rennet, when the whey is clear enough, 
the curds are carefully removed in slices, with a large 
flat spoon full of holes, into tin moulds of the three sizes 
into which the cheeses are made. These moulds rest upon 
a board, between which and the cheese is a reed mat, 
to allow the whey to drain away ; the boards with the 
moulds on them are piled one upon another, and the 
whey runs ofl" in small cascades to a brick table, 
furnished with drains leading to a reservoir connected 
with each table. As soon as the curd begins to con- 
tract, the moulds are moved and slightly shaken, the 
mould being raised a trifle at the same time. This 
operation is performed hourly, until the curds have 
shrunk to the size the cheese is permanently to main- 
tain ; this occurs about three in the afternoon, when a 
smaller frame, made of zinc, and capable of being opened 
and fastened with a button, is placed round the larger 
tin mould, which is removed, the zinc mould tightened 
and buttoned, and the cheese finds itself in a smaller 
mould, but still upon the reed matting. These smaller 
moulds, with the boards, are now placed one on the 
other in piles of about eight, and the remainder of the 
whey drains ofi*. They remain so until the following 



CHAMPAGNE. 453 

morning, when they are removed to other brick tables cheese. 
to make way for work of the succeeding day. 

The next operation is that of salting. The buttons 
of the mould are undone, and salt is sprinkled over one 
side of the cheese and round it ; a dry mat takes the 
place of the wet one ; the moulds are re -fastened and 
replaced in piles. In about six hours the salt will have 
melted, and the cheeses are turned, and in another hour, 
when no more whey exudes, the other side of the cheese 
is salted, and they are replaced upon the mat and board, 
but without the mould. The cheeses are now carried to 
a frame, where they are placed singly in a room the 
temperature of which is 64^. Here they remain for a 
couple of days, when they are turned ; and in two days 
more they are carried to the drying-room. Seventy-five 
tons of salt were used in 1873, at £4 10s. per ton. 

In the drying-room they are placed on a frame on 
mats only, the board being removed, and are turned 
every two days. They soon become covered with a 
white velvety mould, which increases daily in thickness, 
and turns somewhat blue ; after a week in the drying- 
room they are ready for the cellar. In the cellar the 
temperature is kept about 53°, and the cheeses are 
turned every two days. In about fifteen days they are 
ready for market, having gone through various stages of 
colour — from blue to yellow, and from yellow to red. 
The whole process, from the first reception of the milk 
to the time when the cheese is ready for market, 
occupies thirty days. 

The above arrangements are occasionally modified. 



454 



CHAMPAGNE. 



Cheese, according to temperature, and according to tlie greater 
or less demand. 

Three-quarters of a gallon of milk, at a cost of 5 id., 
makes 1 lb. of cheese, the selling price of which is 6id., 
thus showing a gross profit to stand against all expenses 
of manufacture of Id. per pound ; in addition to which 
there is some small profit from the butter made from 
the cream, and a more important one from the fatting 
of pigs, of which there are always about 250 on the 
premises. They are weaned at six weeks old ; for a 
fortnight afterwards they have whey, mixed with barley- 
meal ; after that, and until they are sent to market at ten 
months old, they have nothing but whey, of which they 
drink ^nq and a half gallons daily each. 

The two establishments at Noyers and at Courtisols take^ 

in the course of the year 1,300,000 gallons of milk, S £28,450 



costing 
Collection and manufacture 
30,000 dozen straw mats . . 
3,000 dozen reed mats 
60,000 baskets 



10,250 

350 

160 

1,250 

£40,460 



besides the wages of sixty workmen and women. 

The annual produce is 845 tons of cheese, 60 tons of 
pork, and 29 tons of butter. 

Before the establishment of these factories milk was 
worth only 3d. per gallon in this part of Champagne, 
and was used in makiDg butter or in fatting calves. 
It now makes almost double, and, besides, the cow- 
keepers have whey very cheap. 

Children and infirm people earn three to four francs 



CHAMPAGNE. 455 

a week making the straw mats at their own homes ; Cheese. 
200 people are so employed, besides twenty basket- 
makers. 

The workmen and workwomen sleep on the pre- 
mises, and are very carefully looked after. The dor- 
mitories are well ventilated, and perfectly clean; the 
beds have spring and wool mattresses. There is a 
superintendent for the men, and another for the women, 
and a resident doctor. In addition to the salary agreed 
npon, gifts of money are periodically distributed. The 
salaries are increased according to length of service ; 
and for the best workmen M. Bailleux purchases a house, 
to be paid for by instalments, without any charge for 
interest. 

Brie cheese, or cheese of that character, could not 
formerly be bought under from lOd. to 13d. per lb. ; 
M. Bailleux sells his at about half that price, and the 
consumption has increased tenfold in the last fifteen 
years. Nineteen-twentieths of the produce is consumed 
in France. 

This system of manufacture on a large scale gives 
an excellent article at a moderate price, but produces 
nothing that can compare for quality with the Brie 
cheese made in its original locality about Coulommiers 
and Meaux. The home-made Brie still maintains its 
pride of place in the Paris market, and looks without 
envy upon the attempts of its rival to imitate it, 
knowing that there will always be customers enough 
who can appreciate the delicacy and flavour of the real 
article. 



456 ' CHAMPAGNE. 

Cheese. Courtisols, the village in whiclt is placed one of 
tlie factories of M. Bailleux, is one of those communi- 
ties which are a puzzle to antiquaries. The inhabitants 
differ radically in moral and physical characteristics from 
the neighbouring inhabitants of Champagne. Active, 
enterprising, and hard workers, they offer a marked 
contrast to the typical Champ enois. Their language 
differs from that of their neighbours, though the differ- 
ence is gradually disappearing. They have customs at 
their marriages and deaths which are not practised 
anywhere else in the country. When parents, from age 
or from infirmity, are not able to work, their property is 
commonly divided among the children, who house and 
provide for the old people by turns. The population of 
the village is small — under 1,800 — but keeps quite 
distinct. Opinions generally seem to incline to attri- 
bute a Celtic origin to these people. There are only 
about thirty names in the whole village ; and, indeed, 
some seven or eight seem to be in every family ; and 
none of the names are to be found out of the village 
in the whole country round. 



AETOIS, PICAEDY, AND THE 
PAYS DE CAUX. 



" PiCARDY. Lying under the unprofitable neglect of open fields 
and disgraced with the execrable system of fallowing. Poverty and 
poor crops to Amiens. 

"Artois (away from that part bordering on Flanders). The 
husbandry to the full as bad as the country is good ; corn miserable 
and yellow with weeds, yet all summer fallowed with lost attention. 

" Pays de Caux. There wants no inquiries into products in the 
Pays de Caux ; the appearance of most I saw was miserable, and 
such as proved the land to be in an execrable state of management." 
— Arthur Young, 1788. 

" The agriculture of Artois is but little inferior to that of Flan- 
ders. The two departments of the Somme and of Aisne follow the 
Nord and the Pas de Calais in wealth as in geographical order. 
Admirably placed, they unite English and Flemish farming, and reach 
the highest point of rural production. Somme approaches most to 
the Flemish system, the Pas de Calais to the English.'"— Leonce de 
Lavergne, 1866. 





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ARTOIS, FJCARDY, FAYS BE CAUX. 459 

''From Dunkirk to Nemours is not less than 180^^^^- 
miles in a right line ; from Soissons to Carentan is 
another right line of ahout 200 miles ; from Eu on the 
Norman coast to Chartres is 100 miles; and though the 
breadth of this rich district at Caen and Bayeux is not 
considerable, yet the whole will be found to contain not 
a trifling portion of the whole kingdom. This noble 
territory includes the deep, level, and fertile plains of 
Flanders and part of Artois, than which a richer soil can 
hardly be desired to repay the industry of mankind; 
two, three, and even four feet of deep, moist, putrid, but 
friable and mellow loam, more inclining to clay than 
sand, on a calcareous bottom, and from its marine origin 
abounding with particles that add to the common 
fertility resulting from such compounds found in other 
situations. Every step of the way from the very gates 
of Paris to near Soissons, and thence to Cambrai, with 
but little variation of some inferior hills of small extent, 
is a sandy loam of an admirable texture, and commonly 
of considerable depth. Under it is a strata of white 
marl, found under the whole country at different depths ; 
this marl has the appearance of a consolidated paste. 
The line through Picardy is inferior, though for the 
most part excellent. There can hardly be a finer soil 
than much the greater part of the vast and fertile plain 
which reaches, with scarcely any interruption, from 
Flanders nearly to Orleans — a deep, mellow, friable loam, 
on a chalk or marl bottom." 

Of that tract of country, thus praised by Arthur 
Young, Normandy, Beauce, and Brie have aheady been 



460 ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 

noticed. Flanders, Artois, and Picardy will finish, tlie 
consideration of the main corn and cattle-producing 
countries of France. The first in point of importance, 
though the last in arrangement, is this country of which. 
Arthur Young seems almost at a loss to find words 
sufficiently strong to express his admiration. 

Flanders, now the department of tlie Nord, is so 
exceptional that it must be described by itself. Picardy, 
Artois, part of the He de France, and the small por- 
tion of Normandy north of the Seine, are sufficiently 
similar to be classed together; though, the northern 
part, bordering on Flanders, assimilates in its cultiva- 
tion to that of this latter district. They now form 
the departments of the Pas de Calais, Somme, Seine 
Inferieure, Aisne, and Oise, and extend from the fens 
above Calais to the mouth of the Seine, and across inland 
as far as Champagne, containing 8,000,000 acres of 
land more purely agricultural, in the English acceptation 
of the word, than any other part of France. " Of this 
northern climate I may remark that much of it is, I 
believe, to the full as humid as the south of England." 

There is a considerable diversity of soil and cultiva- 
tion in this vast tract. The Thierache in the northern 
part of Aisne borders on the Ardennes, and contains 
much rough herbage among the forest clearings ; Aisne 
and Oise have some of the largest forests in France ; 
near Calais is a great fen country ; at the mouth of the 
Somme is a stretch of rich land, Le Marquenterre, 
reclaimed from the sea ; and in the country of Bray, in 
Seine Inferieure, there is much meadow-land as fine as 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 461 

any in the Normandy of tlie left bant of the Seine, in 
which they say, " If you drop your walking-stick at 
night, it will be hidden by the grass in the morning;" 
round St. Quentin, and all along the borders through 
Arras and Bethune to St. Omer, the soil is as much 
divided, and as much forced in cultivation as any part of 
Flanders ; but with these exceptions, which really do 
not cover a very important part of the 8,000,000 acres, 
the land consists of monotonous rolling hills, of no great 
elevation, nowhere exceeding 800 feet, dropping into 
valleys more or less abruptly. The country seems 
deserted ; it is now as it was in Young's time • '' No 
scattered farmhouses in this part of Picardy,.all being 
collected in villages, which is as unfortunate for the 
beauty of a country as it, is inconvenient to its 
cultivation." 

The Pays de Caux, High Normandy, the Normandy Pays de 
north of the Seine, occupies the triangle between Havre, 
Eouen, and Dieppe, the base being the chalk cliffs on the 
English Channel. The aspect of the country is very 
similar to the Isle of Thanet, the land is of the same 
nature, is fully as good, and as well farmed. The valleys 
are richer than those on our side the Channel, and are 
more populous. In some the houses surrounded by their 
gardens extend for miles ; those at Aliermont, near 
Dieppe, continue for ten miles. The high open country 
has no water but what is saved in tanks or ponds ; that 
from the latter is so thick that the country expression is 
that it is " eaten" rather than drunk. The rain filters 



462 ARTOIS, FICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 

throngh. the chalk, and reappears in abundant streams 
in the valleys, at a very uniform temperature of from 
50^ to 55^ Fahr. 

Proper- Though the open country through Artois and Picardy 

t)16S> 

seems deserted, the lines of trees, the spires of the 
churches, and the chimneys of numerous sugar- works and 
distilleries, always to be seen at no great distance in the 
valleys, show where the occupiers of the land and the 
labourers live, and they are never far from their work. 
The villages are as numerous as in the Pays de Caux ; 
they seem almost to touch each other, and form a con- 
tinuous street. Here and in similar suitable situations, 
the land is much divided into small properties, and to 
such an extent that it is asserted that one-third of the 
Pas de Calais is so held, and the value of such holdings 
has advanced during the last thirty years from £48 up 
to £80 per acre. Large farms and large properties have 
always prevailed here in the open country. Over half 
the department of the Aisne the farms average 250 acres. 
The land being hired on a money value, the metayer 
system — a division of the risks and the profits between 
the landowner and the farmer — so general in Central 
and Western Prance, is wholly unknown. This country 
has the advantage over Flanders of not having a 
super-abundant population ; there are no more farm 
labourers than can be regularly employed and properly 
paid. 

Eeligious establishments before the Eevolution were 
large owners of land here, and a few powerful nobles 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS BE CAUX. 463 ■ 

held great possessions ; but tliere seems always to have ^^^°Per- 
been very few representatives of the smaller nobility. 
We English may in some degree be responsible for this, 
the nobility of Artois and Picardy having suffered 
severely at Cressy and Agincourt; but probably there 
never were so manv small nobles as elsewhere in France. 
It is remarkable that of the eighty-three places in the 
French directory having the prefix " Chateau," castle, 
only one is in Flanders, and that is Chateau I'Abbaye, a 
castle belonging to an abbey, and only one in Aisne, 
Chateau Thierry, a royal castle. There is no other 
instance all through Flanders, Artois, and Picardy. 

These large ecclesiastical establishments were good 
landlords and good farmers. It was at a Carthusian 
convent at Lillers that the first artesian well was bored 
in the twelfth century ; it is still used, but is almost dry. 
The first attempts of pipe drainage were made at a 
convent of Oratorians at Maubeuge. Those who have 
succeeded these religious societies in the ownership of 
the land have maintained the character of the former 
proprietors, whose example has not been without its 
effect. But side by side with this ecclesiastical ownership 
has always existed a strong popular municipal authority : 
the first shown by the glorious cathedrals and abbeys of 
St. Omer, St. Eiquier, Abbeville, Amiens, Laon, Soissons, 
Noyon, and many others; and the latter by the noble 
town-halls of Arras, Bethune, Douai, St. Quentin, and 
Cambrai, such buildings as do not exist elsewhere in 
France. The religious edifices are all, or nearly all, 
earlier than the English wars of the fourteenth century; 



464 A R TO IS, PICARDY, PAYS DR CAUX. 

tlio municipal buildings are all later, mostly about the 
end of the fifteenth. 

Crops. Three-fourths of the land are arable, and of this por- 

tion one and a half millions are sown with wheat. There 
are less than 500,000 acres of natural grass, partly 
formed of the fens near Calais, partly of the rich pastures 
that furnish the Neufchatel cheeses and Gournay butter, 
and partly from those on the banks of rivers. Generally 
the land is light, but not thin ; stiffer and more highly 
managed in the Pas de Calais and in Oise than in 
Somme, and part of Aisne. Though this country is 
much like many parts of England in its formation and 
produce, certain crops are cultivated here which are un- 
known in England, or seen but little ; sugar-beet, of 
course, 373,000 acres out of a total of 473,000 for all 
Erance, and as the adjoining department of the N^ord has 
106,000 acres, it may be said that all the sugar-beet, or 
nearly so, is grown in this part of the country ; 192,000 
acres of rape, giving a value, in oil of £536,000, and in 
cake of £120,000, and which is a fourth part of all the 
rape grown in France ; 93,000 acres of poppy for crush- 
ing, nearly the whole produce of the country ; and in 
the valleys much tobacco. 

This growth of sugar-beet is greatly improving the 
produce of the land ; it means more corn and more cattle, 
and it is having a greater effect here than in Elanders. 
Elanders grew, before beet was introduced, such crops as 
permitted a high rest; whereas in the larger part of 
Artois and Picardy, the farming was less " intensive," 



ART IS, FICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 4G5 

and the land dependent more upon the ordinary growth Crops. 
of corn, required, or at all events had, the rest of a bare 
fallow much more frequently than it has now. Beet, 
indeed, whether used for sugar or for distilling — and a 
distillery is now an adjunct to almost every large farm 
in the north of France — is changing the agriculture of 
France so rapidly that it seems likely that the present 
generation may see the fulfilment of the prophecy of 
Arthur Young, that the time would come when the 
relative position of the two countries, France and 
England, as to agricultural progress would be reversed, 
and France be as much before England in good farming 
as she undoubtedly is in soil and climate. As far as beet 
has penetrated, Arthur Young's words may be accepted 
as having already come true. 

The manufacture of sugar from beet started in the Beet. 
department of the Nord (Flanders), which still possesses 
the largest number of wprks ; and those in the adjoining 
departments of the Pas de Calais and Aisne are chiefly 
on the borders of the Nord, where the land is about 
equally rich, so that the details of the manufacture will 
be more properly considered when examining the farming 
of Flanders. ' 

The details of a commune, and of a farm, bordering Land. 
on Flanders, will show the progress made in value, and 
in cultivation, in this part of the country, and may be 
taken to represent fairly enough the condition of the 
townships through the richest part of Artois, and most 

E E 



466 ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 

Land, of Flanders. The commune is that of Brebieres, between 
Arras and Douai, and the farm that of the late M. Pilat, 
President of the Agricultural Society of the Pas de 
Calais. 

The commune is upon that monotonous plain which 
extends into Flanders. It consists of 2,702 acres, and 
the population is 1,762; there are forty-two houses for 
the sale of liquor, and the consumption of meat is at the 
rate of 88 lbs. per head per annum. There are two sugar- 
factories, each using 20,000 tons of beet yearly, a flour- 
mill, grinding 1,500 bushels of wheat a day, three 
smaller flour-miUs, a brewery, three brick and tile works, 
a quarry, a lime-kiln, and the usual shops furnishing the 
wants of the population, a charitable society, with an 
income derived from land of £320 per annum, and the 
wages paid by the various manufactories exceed £8,000 
per annum. 

Wheat is grown upon 850 acres, which is double the 
amount of all the other corn-crops together ; sugar- 
beet upon 587 acres ; rape and flax upon 175 acres. 
There are 150 horses, 300 cows, 600 sheep, 170 pigs, and 
135 goats. There seem to be no bullocks. 

The soil is the same as that all through this country, 
clay, with a mixture of calcareous matter, one to two feet 
deep. The immediate subsoil is clay, with some oxide 
of iron, more than two feet thick, reposing upon pure 
chalk. The clay subsoil is used for brick-making, the 
chalk is quarried for lime. The land has been highly 
cultivated and heavily manured for a long time, moi'e 
particularly during the last half centuiy. The rent per 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 467 

acre in 1789 was 25s. ; in 1840, 45s. ; in 1874, 63s. for Land, 
farms of a fair size, including Government taxes, whicli 
are abont 7s. per acrein.eacli case. The seventy-five 
acres belonging to the charitable society are let on leases 
of ten years, at 75s. per acre, with a premium equal to 
one year's rent ; but the holdings are only of one acre 
each. In 1789 land was worth £37 per acre; in 1840, 
£80 ; at the present time, in lots of 60 to 80 acres, it 
would make £120, and in lots of two to three acres, as 
much as £160 per acre. Money invested in land paid 
3^ per cent, in 1789, 2| per cent, in 1840, and would 
only pay very little more than 2A per cent. now. As a 
matter of comparison, it may be noted that estates in 
poor and out-of-the-way parts of France, such as the 
marshes near Marseilles, or the Landes near Bordeaux, can 
be bought to pay 5 per cent. The proportion of rent to 
the gross produce for the larger holdings was, in 1789, 
3*1 per cent. ; in 1840, 3 4 per cent. ; and in 1874, 4 per 
cent. The income from the land has increased abso- 
lutely, but the gross produce has increased so much more 
that relatively it has diminished. The richer the country 
the smaller the interest land will pay. In the north 
fortunes are large, and when land is in the market there 
is much competition for the purchase. It gives there, 
as it does in England, local influence and distinction. 

The tendency of property and farms is to become Farms. 
divided. In 1830 there were three large farms in the 
commune of Brebieres, of from 300 to 400 acres each ; 
in 1838 one was cut up, and in 1848 another, leaving 

E E 2 



468 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX, 



Farms, oiilj that of M. Pilat, which then consisted of 310 
acres ; this has since been gradually reduced, until now 
it is only 217 acres. Reduced as it is, it still is the 
largest, not in Brebieres only, but in the neighbourhood, 
where the farms generally run from 20 to 100 acres : 




ci-rj\o\) 



CROSS OF LEICESTER AND MERIXO OF M. PILAT S FLOCK. 



the rent of land in small parcels so greatly exceeds that 
in larger ones, that owners prefer dividing their property" 
when opportunity offers, and it is probable, now that 
M. Pilat is dead, that his farm will be divided among 
smaller occupiers. The buildings generally are put up 
by the lessees. 

The farm of M. Pilat consists of 217 acres, not 
altogether, bu.t made up of twenty- eight separate por- 



ARTOJS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 469 

tions, the farthest being nearly two miles from the Farms, 
homestead. The farm-buildings cover about an acre 
and a half, which is a small area for a farm of this size 
in France ; they surround a large court ; there are two 
barns, in one of which is the threshing-machine, and 
50,000 sheaves of corn can be housed in the two. The 
stables hold thirty horses. They are divided so that 
the four horses that work each plough — and there are 
six ploughs — are stabled together, each lot before a 
stone trough and a rack, and at the back a berth for the 
ploughman to sleep in. The sheep are housed in 
buildings which are divided internally into bays by 
dwarf walls, and in which 450 to 500 can be easily 
lodged. There are the usual buildings for a cow-shed, 
poultry, for housing machinery, straw, cake, &c. The 
beet-pulp is put into pits, and there is a manure-tank 
holding 130,000 gallons. The value of the buildings is 
£2,400, and of the farm implements £600. 

The crops upon the farm in 1873-74 were: beetroot, 
seventy acres ; beans, eight acres, with a small patch, 
two acres, of carrots and potatoes ; ninety acres of corn, 
of which more than half was wheat ; thirty acres arti- 
ficial grasses ; and fourteen acres flax. Wheat is always 
sown after beet, having two harrowings, one rolling 
with a smooth roller, and then two more harrowings ; 
the wheat is drilled in rows eight and a half inches 
apart, and with ten gallons to the acre ; the land is then 
rolled with a Crosskill. In the spring, according to 
circumstances, after a light harrowing, the Crosskill is 
again used, or the smooth roller, and the necessary 



470 ARTOIS, FICARDY, FAYS DE CAUX. 

Farms. hoeings are performed. On this ricb. land wlieat is ver j 
liable to be laid, which is not to be wondered at, as the 
straw is commonly six feet high, and the average growth 
forty-four bushels to the acre. This has been the 
average for the last ten years : the highest was in 1868, 
and was fifty- three bushels; the lowest in 1873, when it 
was thirty bushels ; some pieces of from ten to thirteen 
acres have produced fifty-five, and even over sixty- one. 
In 1846 the highest yield did not exceed thirty-eight and 
a half bushels. Oats yield seventy-five bushels, and some- 
times eighty-eight, and even as much as 110. They do 
not pay, however, on such highly-rented land, and the 
growth is diminishing. It is the same with winter 
barley, formerly a very favourite crop : it gives an 
average yield of sixty bushels. Forty years ago it 
formed one-third of the corn-crop, it is now only one- 
seventh. Rye is grown only for making binders for the 
sheaves. 

The use of artificial grasses is diminishing ; it is 
now very little more than one-eighth of the farm. 
Clover lasts one year, lucerne four, but a mixture of rye 
and winter-tares is coming much into use, and is likely 
to be the only green crop generally possible here ; it is 
sown after wheat, and grows to a height of from six to 
six and a half feet ; beet-pulp supplies the place of 
clovers. 

Hax. Flax is much grown in Flanders, and in this part of 

Artois, but usually does not occu]3y more than from 
one-twentieth to one-twenty-fifth part of the land. On 



' ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX, 471 

M. Pilat's farm it occupies one-tenth. It is grown after ^lax. 
corn, upon, which, clover has been sown ; the clover 
is ploughed in at the end of October or in November. 
Shortly before sowing the land is ploughed, and a 
dressing of eight hundredweight of rape-cake and two 
hundredweight o£ nitrate of soda is appHed. Sowing is 
a delicate operation : frosts are frequent, and the seed 
must not be put in until the frost is quite out of the 
ground. The preparation of the ground is elaborate and 
costly ; no less than ten harro wings alternating with 
four rollings are given ; and when growing, much 
cleaning by hand is required. In 1874, upon fourteen 
acres, thirty women or children were employed for a 
whole month. The seed is sown broadcast at the rate 
of two and a half hundredweight to the acre. The 
growth of flax has diminished in France : from 250,000 
acres in 1862 it fell to 200,000 in 1872; it is now, 
1876, increasing again, the importations of seed 
having exceeded the usual amount by 2,000 tons. Pas 
de Calais and Somme grow one-fourth of the flax in 
France. In England the land under flax fell from 
24,000 acres in 1870 to 6,751 acres in 1875. 

Upon this farm of 217 acres, root-crops and corn Crops. 
occupy three-fourths of the ground ; forage -crops, about 
one-eighth ; roots and corn are equal in area ; beet, the 
most important of the roots, exceeds wheat, the most 
important of the cereals, by one-third ; roots cover 
eighty acres, and take 800 tons of farmyard manure and 
1,280 tons of refuse from the sugar- works. 



472 ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 

Popuia- Population is 246 to the square mile, that of 

France being 175, and the people are largely employed 
in manufactures, not wholly in large towns, but in the 
innumerable small villages that spread through the 
numerous valleys of the country. Here the people live 
collected together. Out of the 3,000,000 inhabitants 
only 500,000 are returned as living in isolation, the 
rest in small communities, though there are some large 
towns, as Rouen, Havre, Amiens, averaging nearly 
80,000 each; Arras, Boulogne, St. Omer, Abbeville, St. 
Quentin, and Dieppe, average about 27,000; six other 
towns average 11,000 ; three more, 6,000 ; which onl}^ 
accounts for 500,000 : and as another 500,000 live in 
scattered habitations, the remaining 2,000,000 must 
live in the jDopulous villages which make the valleys so 
thick with human life. Here the people are employed 
partly in manufactures, partly in agriculture ; and 
mostly heads of families have a little dot of land 
"lying out in the sun," as they express it, which makes 
them feel very much as if they were their own masters, 
although they themselves, or some of the family, may 
be working for wages in a neighbouring manufactory, or 
on a farm. 



Educa- Education is somewhat above the averao-e of France, 

tion. ^ ^ 

27 per cent, of those above six jxars of age being 
unable to read and write ; that of France being 30. 
The most densely popuhited departments show the worst, 
while Oise, the most thinly populated, shows best : in 
this department only 21 per cent, are so deficiently 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, FAYS DE CAUX, 473 

instructed ; in this respect it stands twenty-second out of 
tlie eighty- seven departments. 

Few districts in France are so well provided with Roads, 

. . &c. 

means of communication as Artois : 1,176 miles of rail- 
way, 18,000 miles of roads, 272 miles of canals and 
navigable rivers, render every part of the country 
accessible, and furnish means for the transport of its 
numerous mineral and manufacturing productions, more 
important even than those of its rich agriculture, which 
latter alone amount to more than £8,000,000 per 
annum. 

There is a local breed of sheep in Picardy which Sheep. 
maintains its position with some inland farmers against 
the very general introduction of the crosses of the 
merino and the English ; it is heavy, hardy, and a good 
walker — the last quality no slight advantage in a 
country where the farms are much divided, and sheep 
have often long distances to travel to and from their 
feeding-ground. It has very generally dark patches 
upon the face, brown or black ; and the same type of 
sheep, with the same peculiarity, is to be found along 
the Ehine, and through Bavaria, Wurtemberg, and 
Baden. 

On the marshes the Flemish breed is preferred, 
and this is to be found upon all the lands bordering 
on the North Sea, from Dunkirk as far as the mouth 
of the Seine. It appears again on similar land in 
Yendee. Both these breeds are probably of the same 



474 



ARTOIS, FICARDY, PAYS BE CAUX. 



Sheep, race as our Leicesters and Romney Marsli sheep, but 
they have not been improyed by the care which their 
congeners in England have received. 

But it is in Aisne that the finest sheep in France 
are to be seen. This department has a larger number 
than any other, and they are out of all comparison the 




FLEMISH SHEEP. 



best. The breed is the merino improved — not by 
crossing with Leicesters, which is carefully avoided, 
but by careful selection. From the first introduction 
of the merino into the north of France it succeeded 
better here than anywhere else. The best and largest 
flocks are in the neighbourhood of Soissons, and the 
principal breeders, with their 1,000 head each, find a 
considerable profit in letting their rams. For par- 
ticulars of these sheep and their avooI, see p. 118, under 
the head " Sheep." 



ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 



475 



The cattle in Artois and Picardy are almost wholly <^^*^i^- 
kept for milking; the only exceptions are on the farms 
where sugar-beet is grown, and here bullocks are pur- 
chased to do the extra work at the time of so wins: and 




IMPROVED MERINO RAM, 

(First Prize at Compiegne, 1877. Bred by M. Duclert, Edrolles, Aisne. Thirty-eight 
months old ; wool weighed 23 pounds ; live weight of meat, 286 pounds.) 



getting in the roots, and when the work is done they are 
fatted off and sold : for general cultivation, oxen are not 
used; indeed, out of a total of 800,000 head of cattle, 
nearly 500,000 are cows, and only 18,000 oxen. The 
heifer-calves only are reared as a rule, the males being 
fatted and killed as calves. As soon as the cows cease to 



47G ARTOIS, PICARDY, PAYS DE CAUX. 

Cattle, bs amply profitable as milkers, tliey are put up to fat ; 
and the greater part of the m.eat sold through the north 
of Trance is that from cows. At Arras 21,000 cows are 
slaughtered annually, against 1,700 oxen and 2,100 
bulls. 

There can hardly be said to be any distinctive local 
race, that called the Picardy being an inferior Flemish. 
It has, however, many supporters, and some farmers 
assert that they are as good milkers as the pure Elemish, 
or the Norman, which is probably true enough upon the 
farms where they are used, as they are more in con- 
formity with the land than the breeds which would 
require higher feeding to be profitable. 

In the northern part of this country the Flemish 
breed is the most used: the. colour is a deep rich red, 
with generally some patches of white about the head, 
which is long and narrow ; the nostrils are large, the 
horns short and fine, cur^dng forwards, and are rather 
flat-sided. The milk of these cows is abundant — where 
the food is plentiful it amounts to from eighteen to twenty- 
six quarts a day, and is specially good for making butter; 
and the cows fatten readily. In this respect, and in 
general conformation, the females are better than the 
males. 

Through Somme, Aisne, and Oise, the Dutch and the 
Norman are more used than the Flemish, the Norman 
specially as Paris is approached. The Dutch cattle are 
black and white pied; the head is fine and long, and 
slightly Eoman-nosed ; the horns small and fine, slightly 
bearing forward ; the body long and narrow, and they 



ARTOIS, FICARDYy FAYS DE CAUX. 4i77 

are narrow- clies ted. Tliey give a great quantity of milk Cattle. 
— as mncli as tliirty-five quarts a day in some cases — but 
it is not ricli milk. They are gross-feeders, requiring 
mucli nourishment, and they do well on the rich pastures 
near Soissons ; but they fatten very badly when they are 
put up to feed after they cease to pay as milkers. 

The ISTorman breed is here, as it is everywhere else, 
good for milking, imperfect as a meat-producing animal, 
but a profitable stock to keep, as the yield from milk or 
calves brings in money continually. 

Shorthorn blood, whether pure or crossed with the 
native breeds, meets with little general favour in this 
country. The desire to get more early maturity has led 
to its introduction, and it may progress, but at present 
the breeders are quite content with the Flemish and 
Dutch; they satisfy the requirements of the country, 
and the Flemish especially finish up well in the fatting- 
stall, after having been profitable servants in the dairy. 

The local breed of horses is the Boulonais, a heavy Horses. 
cart-horse, of great reputation, not distinguished in 
England from the Flemish, though these latter are more 
lymphatic and coarser. The breed extends from Dunkirk 
to Dieppe, but the Pas de Calais is its chief seat ; it is 
more heavy in the marsh-lands about Dunkirk, less so in 
the Marquenterre, on the banks of the Somme. These 
horses stand over sixteen hands high, with a powerful 
frame, heavy and somewhat short neck, broad chest, 
powerful but rather straight shoulders, sound legs, with 
a tendency to lightness in the fore arm, short pasterns 



478 BRAY. 

Horses, well covered witli hair, and tliey are usually of a mottled- 
grey colour. According to a custom which, prevails very 
generally in Trance, there is much division of labour in 
horse-rearing. 

Born in the centre of the department, and on the 
low lands near Dunkirk, the Marquenterre, and on the 
left bank of the Somme, they are sold as soon as they 
can be weaned. The colts are bought by the farmers 
between Abbeville and Eu, in the old country of Vimeu, 
and here the finest colts are to be found. Every farmer 
rears horses, seeking the foals all through the breeding 
country, even as far as Elanders. Tliey are kept here 
until about two and a half years old, when they find 
buyers upon the larger farms, and eventually many find 
their way to the towns in the north of France, and to 
England. 

The fillies are sold where they can be used for 
breedino* after workinsf on the farms. 

The true race seems somewhat dechning. At the 
show at Arras, in 1870, out of 150 entries there was not 
one that did not show evidence of some English or 
Flemish blood ; some bad crosses had the carcases of 
draught-horses and the legs of a thoroughbred. 

BRAY. 
Butter. In the Seine Inferieure is the district of Bray, con- 

taining the rich pastures of Neufchatel and Gournay, 
celebrated for its large manufacture of cheese and butter. 
The Gournav butter stands second onlv to that of 
Isigny at the other end of Normandy. At the Exhibi- 



BRAY, 479 

tion at Paris, the judges soon decide tliat for the grand Butter. 
prize no butters but those of Isigny and Grournay are 
worthy to compete. Isigny always wins ; it always 
must, as the show is in the winter months. During this 
season the Isigny butter makes from 3s. to 3s. 6d. per 
lb., wholesale by auction in the Paris market, whereas 
that from Gournay realises only about 2s. In the 
summer, the values are more equal, each being about 2s. 
— the Isigny a trifle over, the Gournay a trifle under. 
The total production of butter in the arrondissement of 
Neufchatel, in 1873, was 3,300 tons, which would 
average on the spot 13d. per lb., or £120 per ton, making 
a total of nearly £400,000 ; that of the whole department 
amounts to £700,000. Calvados, in which Isigny is 
situated, produces more than double this. 

Neufchatel, however, is more known in England by Cheese. 
its cheese, the manufacture of which amounts to 4,500 
tons annually, the sale being £270,000. These are the 
small cylinder- shaped cheeses called bondons, and they 
are turned out by machinery at the rate of 1,200 in the 
hour. There are only 400,000 acres in the arrondisse- 
ment of Neuf chatel, and over a large part of the country 
the soil is very poor, and covered with forest ; but the 
butter and cheese returns amount to nearly £2 per acre 
for the whole 400,000. There are but 81,000 inhabi- 
tants, and the income from the same source is nearly £10 
per head for every man, woman, and child, besides the 
value of the calves, the skim-milk, and the whey. 

A cheese of considerable reputation, called Eollot, is 



480 BRAY. 

Cheese, made in the departments of tlie Somme and Oise. Tlie 
produce amounts to upwards of 4,500 tons, representing 
a value of £120,000, wliicli is only half the value of the 
Neufchatel cheeses from the same amount. The butter 
produce in these two departments is over 5,000 tons, 
and is valued at £400,000 ; the Gournay butter makes 
as large a sum from 3,300 tons. In Oise, less than half 
the cows are devoted to the production of butter and 
cheese, the milk of the larger portion being used in the 
rearing of calves, and in supplying Paris with milk. In 
consequence of the increasing demand for the latter 
purpose, the Dutch breed of cattle is supplanting the 
Norman, which is the breed used at ISTeufchatel and 
Gournay. 



PLANDEES. 



" Flanders, among the French themselves, has the reputation of 
being the best cultivated in the kingdom. The difficulties, however, 
of gaining information increased at every step, for not one farmer in 
twenty speaks French." — Arthur Young, 1788. 

" The department of the Nord is the best cultivated country in 
France, and one of the best in the world." — Leonce de Lavergne, 
1866. 



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FLANDERS, ■ 483 

The most northerly — the Flemish — part of " this ^^^^• 
noble district of rich loam, the finest plain in Europe, 
Lombardy only excepted," is now, and has been for ages, 
the most richly cultivated. Maritime Flanders, extend- 
ing from Dunkirk to Calais, and by St. Omer to the 
Belgian frontier, is a tract of nearly 400,000 acres, 
hardly any of which is not good. ISTearly 150,000 acres 
are fens, protected from the sea by embankments, and ' 
drained by innumerable canals, producing rich grass and 
heavy corn and root crops. The cattle are large and good 
milkers, and the beef of excellent quality ; and Bergues, 
the agricultural capital of the country, is one of the 
largest markets in France for corn, cattle, flax, and butter. 

Some hills rising from the dead flat are so conspicuous 
that the . inhabitants may be pardoned for calling them 
mountains, though the highest of them only rises to the 
average level of the plain of La Beauce. 

At the extreme east of the department, there is much 
good grass-land, more adapted, however, for breeding and 
rearing than for fattening cattle ; and approaching west- 
wards, towards Douai and Yalenciennes, there is more 
corn-land, a country of good farming, but not so rich 
or so highly farmed as the centre of the department. 

It is in the arrondissements of Yalenciennes, Douai, Farming 
Cambrai, and Lille, in the department of the Nord, and 
in those of Arras and Bethune in. the department of the 
Pas de Calais, that the highest Flemish farming is to be 
found. Agriculture and manufactures are here so closely 
connected, that the seed sown on the land leaves it in the 
r p 2 



484 FLANDERS, 

shape of sugar and spirit. This is the great coal and 
niianufacturing district of France — the centre of the great 
coal basin of the north. There are coal-mines elsewhere, 
and manufactories elsewhere, but in no part of the 
country are there so many of either. 

Manufac- This proximity of mineral and manufacturing wealth 
to some of the richest and most highly-farmed land in 
France, creates a picture of human activity which has 
not its like in the world. Lille, where there are six 
hundred mills for crushing seeds, unites the work of the 
oil-mills of Hull with the engineering- works of New- 
castle ; that of the thread-mills of Leicester with the 
cotton-mills of Manchester. Eoubaix and Tourcoing, 
seven miles apart, but really almost joined by a con- 
tinuous line of houses and villages, are the centres of the 
manufacture of woollen and mixed fabrics, as Leeds 
and Bradford. Valenciennes manufactures steel, as 
Sheffield, and linen, as L'eland. Cambrai still produces 
that article to which it has given its name, adding to it 
the spinning of flax. Douai is celebrated for its em- 
broidery, and for its make of machinery for sugar-refining 
and distilling, and of agricultural implements. In these, 
and in the smaller towns, are also made thread, carpets, 
sail-cloths, sacks, lace, tulle — everything, indeed, into 
which cotton, linen, and wool can be worked up. There 
are besides, dye, soap, and glass works, and more than 
one thousand breweries ; and over and above all are seen 
on all sides the tall chimneys of the manufactories of that 
wonderful produce, unknown in England, beetroot sugar. 



FLANDERS. 485 

This manufacturing activity, so much like that of Manufac- 
England, has this distinction — that by its side, and 
mixed up with it, is the highest farming to be found out 
of China or Lombardy. It is this that makes Flanders 
so great a contrast to the coal and manufacturing dis- 
tricts of England. From almost any manufacturing town 
in England, a country as barren and as wild as the back- 
woods of America can be reached in a short walk. The 
grouse crows almost within hearing of the inhabitants of 
the outskirts of Sheffield; wild Yorkshire moors come close 
up to the busy towns of Halifax and Bradford ; bleak 
Cheshire and Derbyshire hills look down upon the smoke 
of Manchester ; it would be hard to find farming, properly 
so called, of any kind in the coal district of Birmingham. 
It is only towards Leicestershire that manufactories and 
farming seem to approach each other; but there it is 
caused by the rich grass pastures of the county, which 
can in no way be compared to the farming in this part 
of Flanders, where there is hardly an acre of natural 
grass, but where all is under tillage. 

The holdings in Flanders are of various sizes, large. Holdings. 
medium, and small. At the extreme east and west they 
are larger than in the centre, where a medium-sized farm 
would be called small in England. Near Lille, twenty- 
five acres is called a considerable property. Here one 
farmer in four cultivates his own land, one in ^n^ culti- 
vates with the spade, two in five with a single horse; 
but there are farmers, nevertheless, who turn out from 
600 to 700 head of fat cattle, and from 1,500 to 2,000 



486 FLANDERS. 

Holdings. sliGGp yearly, and wliose wlieat-crop seems small when 
it yields only six quarters to tlie acre. Freeholds have 
risen in value in thirty years from £64 up to £80 per 
acre, and rents from 32s. to 48s. This rise is less than in 
most parts of France, but Flanders started from a higher 
level than other places. On the smaller holdings such 
crops are grown as rape, 25,000 acres; poppy, 13,000; 
flax has almost doubled, and is now (1877) 43,000 acres ; 
hops, 3,000 ; tobacco, 1,000 ; chicory, 3,000, almost the 
whole growth of France ; besides the various kitchen- 
garden articles that find a sale in the populous towns, 
and which enter so largely into French diet. 

Manures. ^\\q most stimulating manures are used : human 

excrement is carefully collected, and its very general use 
is frequently evident to the passing traveller ; 95,000 
tons of guano, a fourth of the French consumption ; and 
216,000 tons of chemical manures are absorbed. 

Crops. Of the 950,000 acres under tillage, wheat and beet 

occupy half, wheat in 1873 showing 340,000, and 
beet 106,000; oats are returned as 136,000 acres, and 
barley as 28,000 ; but oats and barley fluctuate very 
much, they are neither of them considered main crops. 
When barley is grown, it is usually winter barley, which 
is preferred by the brewers in the north of France to 
spring barley. On many farms, one-third of the land is 
always under beet, and is cro|)ped with beet and wheat 
alternately, or beet and winter barley. Sometimes a 
crop of barley follows one of wheat, the manure given to 



FLANDERS. 487 

beet sufficing for tlie two corn-crops. Spring corn is Crops, 
not very largely grown ; it is sown when the beet can- 
not be cleared oiF in sufficient time in the autumn for 
wheat to be sown, or if the condition of the land in the 
• spring is considered not sufficiently good for spring wheat. 
But the crops obtained from all these show the high 
state of farming in Flanders. In 1872, which, however, 
was an exceptionally good harvest, the department of the 
Nord averaged 28 bushels of wheat to the acre, which is 
the estimated production of Great Britain. In this it 
was beaten by the Oise, Seine-et-Marne, Seine-et-Oise 
(La Brie indeed), each of which departments averaged 
30 bushels. In barley and oats the ISTord was far above 
any of its neighbours, averaging 41 bushels of the 
former, and over 50 bushels of the latter, to the acre; 
of straw, the yield in the same year was, for wheats 
32 cwt.; for barley, 24 cwt.; and for oats, 27 cwt. The 
average yield of wheat through France, in 1872, was 19 
bushels per acre, and 1 8 cwt. of straw ; for Great Britain 
the average yield is estimated at 28 bushels. 

The 1,000 acres of tobacco yield 24 cwt. to the acre, 
which is double the average of France. 

The arrondissement of Dunkirk consists of 180,000 Fens, 
acres, mainly marsh and fen land, which was drained by 
open watercourses: in 1852, nearly 4,000 acres were 
taken up by these drains ; in 1875, the quantity had 
been reduced to 200 by the use of covered drains, and so 
much land was gained to cultivation. This system is 
extending, and the smaller watercourses are becoming 



488 FLANDERS, 

Fens, gradually covered in. Mucli of the old pasture-land 
through this country is being ploughed, the temptation 
of a high temporary rent, amounting to £8 per acre, 
inducing landowners to permit this breaking up. 
The average produce of wheat for twelve years has 
been here 30 bushels per acre; for beet, 16 tons; 
and on the pastures, one bullock has been reared to 
the acre. On the best-managed farms, the average 
reached for the same period was 40 bushels of wheat, 
20 tons of beet, and four head of beasts on two acres 
and a half. During the summer months two head of 
cattle were fed on each acre upon artificial grasses, on 
the system of annual pasturage, the land being ploughed 
up after only one year of green fodder. Winter food is 
provided abundantly by the pulp from the small dis- 
tilleries which are to be found within reach of every 
farm in the country. 

Popuia- The department of the Nord is nearly as large as 
the West Riding of Yorkshire, and is more tliickly in- 
habited, there being one inhabitant to the acre — almost 
as many as Staffordshire. The arrondissements of 
Dunkirk, Hazebrouck, and Avesnes, which occupy half 
the surface, have few manufactories ; this is the purely 
farming part of the department. There is one inhabitant 
to every two acres — the same as our farming counties of 
Hertfordshire, Hampshire, and Berkshire. The manu- 
facturing half, the arrondissements of Lille, Cambrai, 
Douai, and Valenciennes, have one and a half inhabitants 
to the acre — about the same as Cheshire and Lancashire. 



FLANDERS. 489 

The arrondissement of Lille by itself consists of 218,522 Popuia- 
acres, and is as thickly populated as Lancashire, but the 
area of Lancashire is six times as great. The fourteen 
largest towns in Lancashire (excluding Liverpool) contain 
over 1,000,000 inhabitants ; the fourteen largest in the 
Nord less than half that number. The three largest 
towns in Yorkshire have 650,000 inhabitants ; the three 
largest in the Nord less than 300,000. Although the 
population of the I^ord equals that of the West Eiding 
of Yorkshire, and in some parts that of Lancashire, it is 
not so crowded. The returns give 367,000 as living in 
scattered habitations, and 1,000,000 as living collected 
together; 43*28 per cent, as being rural, and 56'72 per 
cent, as urban. 

In the Report of the Commissioners for the English 
Census of 1871, the rivers in the manufacturing districts 
are said to be " polluted by the refuse of manufactures, 
and to some extent by sewage, although the impurities, 
as a general rule, are retained about the houses, and are 
not discharged into the sewers." Something of the same 
kind may be said of the manufacturing districts in the 
Nord. The rivers are there also polluted by the refuse 
of the manufactories, and the impurities are not dis- 
charged into the sewers. Instead, however, of being 
retained about the houses they are applied to the land, 
high farming and thick population existing together ; but 
nowhere in the ISTord is there to be found the over- crowd- 
ing to be witnessed in some of our manfacturing towns. 

Of no place in France would it be possible to write 
what was written in a London weekly paper in March, 



490 FLANDERS. 

Popiiia- 1876 : "Miserable cottas^es are beins: built in rows, to 

tion. ^ , ^ . ^ 

arrive at wbich you must plunge tbrough. a slough of 
black mud. Damp, ill-built, and ill-drained, disease 
clings to tliem, and family after family is compelled to 
leave. It is impossible to build bouses witli profit, and 
the result is over- crowding. Sanitary inspection is in 
many places unknown or useless. The Barnsley Times 
gives an account of tlie village of Ardsley, wbicli is pro- 
bably true of many others. The cesspools overflow the 
highways ; an open field is used as a slaughter-house ; 
so many people live in the same building that they have 
to go to bed by turns, while in one case fourteen people 
slept in one great round bed with their feet to the 
centre. Water is a necessity of life, but it does not exist!" 

The work-people in the Nord are well housed, either 
in consequence of their own thrift, or of the care of the 
employers. In the case of the great coal companies it is 
to the employers that the good lodging is due. Large 
blocks of buildings, solidly constructed, and well drained, 
are erected near the mines ; they are called workmen's 
cities. The company of Anzin, the largest in the north, 
which pays annually a quarter of a million sterling in 
wages and salaries to 10,000 workmen, has built 1,200 
good substantial houses ; each separate mine has schools, 
an apothecary, a surgeon, and a hospital, maintained at 
the expense of the company. Pensions in old age, and 
assistance, when necessary, are given to the workpeople, 
without any deduction from the wages. The capital of 
the company is a million and a quarter sterling. 

This department boasts that in ten years it invested 



FLANDERS. 491 

over £4,000,000 of its sayings in two only of tlie Popuia- 
Government stocks, and tliat it pays one-sixtli of all 
the taxes collected in France. There is probably some 
exaggeration here. It is not, however, worth vfhile 
stopping to examine into its truth ; it is, no doubt, near 
enough the truth to give one more proof that where 
there is the most wealth there will also be found the 
most want, and that in the poorest countries there is the 
least destitution. 

This rich department furnishes one-sixth of all the 
poor in France (273,759 out of 1,608,129) who receive 
relief from the public offices. No other department 
except that containing Paris, which is 184,569, reaches 
100,000 : only two others exceed 50,000 ; and the scale 
goes on descending almost in proportion to the supposed 
poverty of the inhabitants, until, in perhaps the poorest 
of all, there is an arrondissement containing forty-two 
communes and 44,000 inhabitants, where the people are 
so well off that there is not a single office for the relief 
of destitution, there being none to relieve. 

The 9,000 hospital beds in the Nord are always full, 
the 162,000 in other parts of France are never fully 
occupied ; it therefore furnishes about one- eighteenth 
part of the helpless sickness. The official reports show 
that nearly 50,000 out of the 158,000 inhabitants of the 
rich city of Lille receive charitable relief in the course of 
the year, at a public expenditure of £28,000 ; Eoubaix, 
with half the population of Lille, spends £16,000 ; Tour- 
coing, with half the population of Eoubaix, £11,000. 
These amounts are what are actually given from the 



492 FLANDERS. 

Popuia- offices ; there are no expenses of administration, or but 
few, and the pubhc expenditure does not represent the 
whole relief given. 

Against these evidences of poverty must be set the 
fact that the standard of living is much higher in 
Flanders than elsewhere in France. The people eat 
good bread and much meat, consume a considerable 
amount of beer and spirits, and live, not, as in other parts 
of France, on rye-bread and buckwheat soup, skimmed 
milk, dried fruits, and thin wine ; the inhabitants of some 
large districts do not taste meat all the year round. In 
Lille, the consumption of spirits is one gallon per head 
per annum for every inhabitant — man, woman, and child 
— besides forty gallons of beer and six gallons of wine. 
The Marquis de Dampierre has stated that he knows of 
one town in the Nord, of less than 4,000 inhabitants, 
where the consumption of spirits equals three gallons and 
a half per inhabitant per annum, as against one pint to 
one pint and three-quarters for the average in the centre 
of France. But here, probably, these statistics are 
deceptive : these towns are market-towns, with perhaps 
two or three markets a week, and the real inhabitants 
may not get the share of drink attributed to them. It 
would be hard upon the inhabitants of Calais and 
Amiens, to charge to their account the liquor consump- 
tion of the travellers from England to Paris. The 
quality of the drink consumed is of the worst. The 
price of alcoholic drinks in Lille is lower than it is in 
the eight largest towns in France. It may fairly be 
assumed that *' that wonderful root the beet," and not 



FLANDERS. 493 

the grape, is the origin of the supply ; and the price of 5°^^^^' 
beer is lower than anywhere else in France, or at all 
events lower than anywhere out of the department. 

Flanders keeps the lead in physical robustness : it 
supplies one- twenty- fifth of all the marriages, one- 
nineteenth of all the births, and one-seventeenth of all 
the twin births. The marriages are earlier, three-fourths 
of the men being under thirty ; the average of France is 
only two-thirds. 

The deaths of infants under one year old in France 
are 146,328 yearly ; in the Nord they are 5,332 ; if 
they were as large in proportion as they are through 
France, they would be 7,727. Furnishing the nineteenth 
part of the births, the Nord furnishes only the twenty- 
seventh part of the mortality of infants under one year. 

Since 1872, the population of France has increased 
at the rate of about 103,000 yearly; if the other parts 
of France increased as much as the Nord, the annual 
increase would be 500,000, which is larger than that 
of the United Kingdom. 

The Nord was the only department that showed any 
important increase of population between the census of 
1866 and that of 1872; it amounted to nearly 4 per 
cent., whereas France showed a decrease of 1'29. In 
addition to its own population, Flanders finds work 
during harvest for a large number of Belgians, who 
cross the frontier much as the Irish do, or used to do, 
at harvest-time in England. 

The standard of education is low. Of the eighty- Education 



494 . FLANDERS. 

Education, seven departments, it is the fifty- sixth in rank : more 
than 36 per cent, of those above six years of age can 
neither read nor write, the average of France being low 
enough, viz., more than 30 per cent. In the marriage 
registers, one-third of the men, and one-half of the 
women, could not or would not sign their names, 
marking only with a cross ; the proportions for all 
France being about one-fourth for the men, and one- 
third for the women. 

The state of education, gauged by this test of not 
reading or writing over six years of age, varies very 
much. In the fourteen largest towns, with a total 
population of nearly 500,000, about 150,000 are in this 
state of ignorance ; but while Douai and Armentieres, 
with a joint population of 43,000 inhabitants, have only 
6,400 so low, Denain, Halluin, St. Amand, and 
Wattrelos, with a united population of 60,500, have 
25,500, Halluin showing the incredible number of 8,654, 
out of a total population of less than 13,000, not able to 
read or write. 

Cattle. The cattle are almost wholly of the Flemish or of 

the Dutch breed. The colour of the first is a deep 
mahogany red ; that of the Dutch is black pied. Both 
sorts are excellent milkers, and the Flemish fatten very 
readily, which the Dutch do not. It is not usual for 
cattle to be worked on the farms in Flanders, but on 
some small holdings the cows are so worked, and this 
field-work does not seem to lessen the yield of milk, or 
render them less easy to fatten. 



FLANDERS. 495 

Yery few calves are reared, and tliose few are heifers : Cattle. 
it pays much better for the farmers to buy cows in calf, 
with perhaps their second or third calf, to keep them 
well while they are in milk, and to fatten them for 
market when they dry off ; they often pass through the 
farmer's hands without dropping more than one calf, 
giving a good profit from their milk, a valuable supply 
of manure, and selling for more than they cost when they 
go to market. It by no means follows that because 
cows go to the shambles they should be old cows ; sent 
and prepared as above before they are worn out, the 
meat makes at least as good a price as that of oxen; and 
as for the degree of fatness, it is amply sufficient for the 
tastes of the purchasers ; such meat as English buyers 
look for would be passed, by in Flanders as being greasy 
and wasteful. 

On the farms where sugar-beet is grown, working- 
oxen are used, which are fatted on the pulp when the 
heavy work is done ; and for stall-feeding only, in the 
sugar-producing districts, anything is purchased that 
comes to hand, mainly, however, cows that have ceased 
to be profitable as milkers. A large quantity of these 
barren cows are provided by Belgium. Cows in milk 
come from Eastern Flanders, Belgium, Holland, Ehenish 
Bavaria, and the east of France ; cattle for fatting 
purposes only, from Western France, Anjou, Maine, and 
Brittany. The last have probably a cross of English 
shorthorn blood ; but this cross meets with no favour in 
the countries that supply the Nord with its stock of 
milking-cows. Any milch-cow showing a sign of a 



496 FLANDERS. 

Cattle, sliortliorn cross would not find a ready sale, tlie farmer 
reckoning that such, an animal would give from £4 to £6 
worth of milk less in the year, hut for fatting purposes 
only no ohjection would he made. 

The Government officials retain their preference for 
shorthorn hlood with a view of encouraging an earlier 
production of meat ; hut practical farmers find that they 
do hetter with a hreed that is precocious in producing 
milk, not too fastidious in its food, and gives as good 
meat as the huyers wish for. Eewards at cattle-shows 
are ofiered in vain in the class of shorthorns, the money 
prizes and medals can never he all distributed for want of 
sufficient competitors, and those that are given always go 
to the same fancy breeders who rear stock with a view 
to these honours. 

The number of cattle returned in the Nord is 
260,000, but here statistics are very unsafe guides, for 
whereas the number given in agricultural returns do in 
some districts really represent the quantities that exist 
in those districts permanently, or on an average, in 
others they only represent those that happen to be on 
the land at the moment of making the return, while the 
stock may be continually renewed ; this is the case in 
the ]^ord. As a rule, stock of all kinds is bought when 
full-grown, and only remains on the farm while giving 
milk or being fatted, so that a farm which returns only 
one hundred sheep or head of cattle, may really turn out 
three or four times that number during the year ; while 
in other countries the number returned would be the full 
quantity that a farm bears during a whole year. As the 



FLANDERS. 497 

fatting season is from September to March, the time at Cattle. 
which the sugar-factories are at work, the stock of sheep 
and cattle is then enormously larger than at any other 
period, and it would be quite possible, if the census were 
taken at a certain moment, to find large farms bare of 
stock, which really fed hundreds of sheep and scores of 
cattle. The fatting of stock besides is so independent 
of the work of the farm, that if lean animals are dear, 
none are bought. The pulp of the beet is put into pits 
to be kept till next year, and manure is bought to take 
the place of that which the animals would have sup- 
plied. This more frequently happens near large towns, 
where manure can be got, and where straw can be 
sold. 

In the Nord the cattle are all large, full-grown, and 
productive of much manure and meat. In some other 
countries they are young, and the ewes occupied in breed- 
ing, so that 265,000 head of cattle and 136,000 sheep in 
the Nord represent much more value than the same 
number would elsewhere generally in France, and, be- 
sides, are renewed, in many cases, three times a year. 
In the centre the same number of sheep would weigh 
much less, and would give less rich manure. The Nord 
breeds little, but fattens much; the poorer countries 
breed much, but send little direct to the butcher. 

A certain number of bulls are also fatted in the 
Nord, in some districts even more than oxen, and the 
meat finds a good sale. Bull-beef is rejected for the 
army, but it is contended by high authorities that bull- 
beef, when from an animal not too young nor too old, 

G G 



498 FLANDERS. 

Cattle, and well fed, is certainly better than that from cows 
which have been kept as long as it was profitable 
to keep them as milkers, and which, more than bulls, 
are liable to be out of health. It is contended even 
that bull -beef is superior to that of oxen, if the animals 
are treated in the same way. " A bull of two to three 
years old put up to fatten assimilates his food better 
than an ox would do whose vitality has been weakened 
by castration (Viseur)^ Public feeling, however, is 
yet against bull-beef. At Lille and Eoubaix bull-beef 
used to sell better than that from fatted cows, but the 
mayors of these two towns having ordered that the origin 
of the meat on sale should be ticketed, bull-beef is 
shunned, and more money is paid for the meat of worn- 
out cows than for that from sound and healthy bulls, 
and the bull-beef is, in the main, sent on to Paris. 

Sheep. The sheep, more even than the cattle, are bought, 
not reared. Being Vv^anted only for fatting, they are 
bought when full-gro\Am, and of any sort that looks 
most profitable. They are chiefly the merinos crossed, 
and the Flemish, but the small Berri sheep is often 
met with, and to some extent also a kind of Barbary 
sheep, bred on the plains of Provence. On the fens 
the Flemish are almost wholly used, the merinos not 
doing well on marsh land, or near the sea. There is 
not much attention paid to the improvement of the 
breed — that is left to those districts that rear the 
stock ; the farmers in the Nord will give more money 
for a good sheep than for a bad one ; but they only 



FLANDERS. 499 

look to profit, and if they can see as much profit in five Sheep. 
small sheep as in three large ones, which would cost as 
much money, they would probahly prefer the ^nq^ small 
ones. 

The use of beetroot for su2:ar-makin2r is of quite ^eet- 

. . Sugar 

recent origin. It is a German invention, the first loaves 
having been presented to the King of Prussia, in 1799. 

Erance, excluded from her colonies during the wars, 
when sugar was 2s. 6d., and even 5s., per pound, made 
great endeavours to supply the deficiency of the im- 
portation of cane-sugar by the manufacture of a similar 
article from other substances. Grapes, plums, and 
carrots were tried, but none equalled beetroot. Small 
progress was made until 1810, when the first manu- 
factory was established at Lille by M. Crespel Delisse. 
The first year eight hundredweight was made ; in the 
second, ten tons ; but the peace of 1815, reopening trafiic 
with the colonies, stopped the home-trade. Sugar fell 
two-thir(Js in price the day peace was signed, and the 
price gradually sank to 7d. per pound. Most of the 
factories were closed, but some men of courage fought 
the battle out, and among them M. Crespel Delisse, 
who succeeded in establishing a central factory at Arras, 
to which nineteen farms were attached, to supply the 
roots. This factory eventually turned out 4,000 tons of 
sugar yearly. 

In 1827 the beetroot-sugar niade yearly amounted to 
1,000 tons; in 1840, to 27,000 ; in 1852, to 75,000 ; in 
1866, to 247,000; in 1871, to 330,000; and in 1875, 

G G 2 



500 FLANDERS. 

Beet- to 450,000 ; wKereas the home consumption in the same 
' year was only 250,000 tons, leaving a surplus for ex- 
portation of 200,000 tons. 

In 1875 the number of factories at work were thus 
distributed: 161 in the Nord; 96 in the Pas de Calais; 
90 in Aisne; ^^ in Somme; 39 in Oise ; and 72 in all 
the other departments — 524 in all. 

The department of the Nord leads the way in the 
produce per acre, as well as in the number of the works : 
it averages sixteen and a half tons ; Pas de Calais comes 
next, with sixteen tons ; then Somme, with twelve 
tons; and Aisne, with eleven and a half tons. Any 
increase in the manufacture will probably take place 
where the land is less highly rented than it is in 
Flanders, and the new manufactories can adopt all those 
improvements which experience suggests, and for which 
there are such crowds of patents, that it is difficult to 
distinguish what processes are patented and what are 
not. An indication of this is given in the number of 
works in the unenumerated departments of France, 
which amount now to 72, against 56 in 1873 ; whereas 
the works in the Nord have fallen to 161, from 170 in 
1873 ; Pas de Calais, Aisne, Somme, and Oise re- 
maining about the same. In these four departments 
the rent of land is below that in the Nord. A new 
■ factory has lately been constructed in Burgundy, capable 
of converting 35,000 tons of roots. 

The season for manufacturing sugar only lasts six to 
seven months ; indeed, the bulk of the work in France 
must be done in four or ^\q, as the warm weather, which 



FLANDERS, 501 

occurs in France at the opening and ending of the Beet-' 
season, causes the roots to sprout, by which they lose 
much of their saccharine. Some works can cut up 250 
tons per day, and as the cost of delivering the roots at 
the factory, and drawing back the pulp to the farms, 
would be very heavy, houses are established at various 
distances from the factories, where the roots are rasped, 
the juice extracted and sent through pipes to the 
factories, so that the roots are delivered near where they 
are grown, and the pulp remains near where it is wanted. 
In some cases these pipes extend more than fifteen miles ; 
there is one with this extent of piping near Calais. Where 
pipes are not established, a light portable railway is used, 
which enables the delivery to be made over fields and 
country roads, and is much less costly than pipes, which 
cannot be laid down under about £400 per mile. 

The last two or three seasons (1874-5, 1875-6) have 
been very unprofitable for both the growers of beet and 
the sugar manufacturers. These latter complain that 
the root is yielding less saccharine than it used to do, 
and as the price of sugar has been very low, they make 
all sorts of difBculties about takiug delivery of the 
roots contracted for ; where a grower has no contract he 
has found it difiicult to sell his beet even at so low a 
price as from 4s. to 5s. per ton. Some writers go so 
far as to say that the power of growing beet is passing 
away, and that the trade is doomed ; this opinion, how- 
ever, had up to 1875 received no general support, either 
in theory or practice, particularly in the latter, the 
produce of 1875-76 being on a larger scale than 



502 FLANDERS. 

Beet- ever, and readiing to double the liome consumption. 
' The growth is, however, influenced by this state of 
affairs, the land under beet for the season of 1876-77 
being a third less than the year previous, or, as 
some state, 40 per cent. less. The yield is also bad, 
many growers not getting more than eight tons to 
the acre, and the result of the season 1876-77 sup- 
ports the views of the pessimists, the factories at work 
having been 496, against 524 in 1875, the yield of sugar 
, only 31 per cent., duty being paid only upon 271,623 
tons, a falling off of 206,000 tons from 1875, which was 
just about the surplus production beyond the home con- 
jsumption in that year. 

The market value has so greatly changed during the 
season of 1876-77 that confidence may be restored to 
this most important trade ; raw sugars, which made only 
22s. per cwt. in Ja,nuary, 1876, Avere worth 34s. per 
cwt. in January, 1877 ; the difference in refined was 
much smaller, the proportions being 56s., duty paid, in 
1876, and 66s. in 1877. The wet season in the spring 
of 1876 no doubt helped to decrease the land sown, 
and the wet in the summer certainl}^ reduced the j^ield 
of sugar. The spring of 1877 has been wet, and the 
sowing late, and the full average sowing has not per- 
haps been made, but the prospects generally of the 
trade are more hopeful, and the crop for 1877-1878 is 
estimated (November, 1877) to reach 350,000 tons; 
but the price has dropped to 25s. per cwt. for raw 
sugar, and 58s. for refined, duty paid. 

The diminished yield was not true of all the beet 



FLANDERS. 503 

farms. The factory of Nassandres, in the department Beet- 
of the Eure, offered four prizes for the largest growth in 
that department for the crop of 1875-76 ; the first was 
gained by a produce of 25 tons to the acre, the second 
by one of 24^^ tons, the third by one of 24 f tons, and the 
fourth by one of 23 J tons, making an average of 24 i 
tons per acre ; the average for the four prizes for 1875 
was only 20 tons. 

Subject to such fluctuations, the produce of beetroot- 
sugar in France, if all the factories are kept at work, is 
almost double the home consumption. A permanent 
relief can only be hoped for from a more extended 
export or a largely-increased home demand. The 
first is not easy to create, as though France is the only 
European country that produces an important surplus, 
Germany, Austria, Russia, and Holland make as much 
as they want, and the cane will always supply England 
with raw sugar. The importations of raw sugar from 
the Continent into England in 1876 amounted to 
154,668 tons, of which only 34,871 came from France ; all 
this would be beetroot- sugar. The importations of cane- 
sugar for the same period were 424,694 tons. During 
the same period the importation of refined v/as 139,126 
tons, of which 88,492 tons came from France: all the 
refined comes from the Continent, and it may be 
taken that it is all from beetroot. If the French sugar- 
refiners possessed no underhand advantages, the English 
market would most likely be lost to them, as with the 
abundant and steady supply of raw cane-sugar, our re- 
finers could at least keep the sugar refined from beetroot 



504 ' FLANDERS. 

Beet- out of the market; but they do get an advantage, 

Sugar. • 1 J • T f 

variously estimated at from 6 to 10 per cent., from the 
method of claiming the drawback upon the refined for 
the duty paid upon the raw sugar. It has been proposed 
that the sugar should be refined under bond, so that no 
duty having been paid, no drawback could be claimed ; 
but the objections to this have hitherto prevailed. The 
English trade, however, rests upon a very unsafe founda- 
tion; and if the drawback were fairly assessed, this 
outlet for the French surplus would probably be closed. 

A large increased consumption could be easily created 
in France, the amount used per head being only fifteen 
pounds yearly, while in England it amounts to half a 
hundredweight. As long as the enormous duties are 
levied, expansion of home demand cannot be expected. 
The cost of sugar is a serious matter for the French 
householder, and also for the prosperity of those trades 
into whose productions sugar enters so largely, as bon- 
bons, preserved fruits, &c. The skill of the French, 
however, in the manufacture of these is so great that 
they hold their OAvn against foreign competition in spite 
of the disadvantages under which they labour. Portugal, 
Spain, and Italy might seriously compete with France 
in these preparations; and of these, Italy is the only 
country that seems to be making any serious attempts 
to do so. 

It is calculated that for a sugar-factory to be worked 
profitably it must have a supply of roots from 500 acres; 
and it may be that factories of this size, or larger, will 
always be most advantageous. Eecent improvements. 



FLANDERS. 



505 



however, now permit much, smaller works to be carried Beet- 
on, and a supply of roots from 100 to 150 acres suffices 
ft>r the establishment of a small factory. Continued 
progress in the same direction may allow small factories 
to be worked on farms as easily as small distilleries are 
now ; and they will save the heavy charge of the carriage 
of the roots and the pulp, and can be erected in districts 
where the rent is much below that of the beet-producing 
countries of the present day. 

This year (1876), a strong attempt is being made to 
establish the growth of sugar-beet in the west of France, 
where the land is so much cheaper than it is in the 
north. The refiners of Nantes, who refine colonial 
sugars, find their trade leaving them, and they have 
started a company, with a capital of £400,000, to set 
up manufactories of raw beetroot-sugar through all the 
west of France. 

Beet now furnishes more than a fourth of the world's 
production of sugar. It is estimated to stand thus : — 

Tons. 



France 


451,000 


Germany 


290,000 


Austria ... 


... . ... 205,000 


Russia ... 


150,000 


Belgium 


80,000 


Holland, Sweden, &c 


35,000 



1,211,000 
Of the above countries, France and Belgium are the only 
ones that produce a surplus, the home consumption of 
France being reckoned at from 270,000 to 275,000 tons, 
that of Belgium at 50,000 tons. 



Sugar. 



506 FLANDERS. 

Other sugars are estimated to be produced as follows : — 

Tons, 

From Cane ... 2,750,000 

„ Palm 100,000 

, Maple 50,000 



2,900,000 
Beet as above 1,211,000 



4,111,000 



In spite of tlie great and no doubt true outcry as to 
the unprojS.table nature of the manufacture for the last 
two years, it bas increased in all tbe countries of Europe 
in tbe season 1875-76. 

At tbe opening of tbis season it was estimated tbat 
tbe manufacture in France would reacb 475,000 tons. 
Tbe difference between tbat and tbe real outcome of 
451,000 is owing to tbe bad yield in saccbarine of tbe 
roots : tbis bas caused serious loss to tbe manufacturers. 
Tbose are exceptionally fortunate wbo bave gone 
tbrougb tbe season witbout loss ; and in many cases tbe 
loss bas been so serious tbat it could only be supported 
by tbose bouses wbose prosperity in earlier times bas 
enabled tbem to put by a fund to meet so disastrous a 
season. 

In tbe early clays of making sugar from beet — tbat 
is, after tbe processes bad become perfected — large 
fortunes w^ere made, and to bave been "in sugar" in 
France, became as notorious as " striking oil" in America. 
Contracts were made witb farmers for a supply of roots 
for a term of years, wbicb was generally ten or fifteen, 
and tbe price was 15s. per ton. As tbe manufacture 



FLANDERS. 507 

became more understood, more stringent clauses were Beet- 
added to tlie contract, specifying the sort of seed to be 
used, tbe manures to be applied, tbe number of roots 
to be grown on the square yard ; in many cases the 
manufacturer supplied the seed or the manure, some- 
times both. 

This deficiency in the yield of sugar, whether caused 
by using too stimulating manures, or sowing beet that 
yields large crops per acre with a small proportion of 
saccharine, or from a natural decadence in the sugar- 
producing properties of the same sorts of beet, has 
caused endless discussions about the terms upon which 
beet must be grown and sold to the works. The 
struggle is severe. The beet that yields the most per 
acre giving the smallest amount of sugar, the interests 
of the two parties appear to be adverse, but their real 
interests are the same. If the works cannot be made 
to pay, they will be abandoned, and the farmers would 
lose a market for an article which directly, as pro- 
duce, has paid them handsomely, and which indirectly, 
as furnishing a cheap and good supply of fatting 
material for cattle, enables them to get a large quan- 
tity of manure, and also gives them a profit on the 
animals fatted. 

The " root of conciliation " is perhaj)s not absolutely 
found, but trials are continually made to discover the 
seed and the method of growth which will reconcile the 
interests of growers and manufacturers. 

The duty is charged in France upon the amount of 
sugar produced. It is not, therefore, essential that the 



508 " INLANDERS. 

t 

Beet- roots sliould give the maximuni possible of saccliariiie as 

Sugar 

it is in Grermany, where the duty is charged upon the 
weight of the roots consumed. The French system is 
the best for the country, as it results in a larger produc- 
tion both of sugar and pulp to the acre. The average 
crop of roots in France is sixteen tons to the acre, and 
the yield of sugar 6 per cent, of the roots consumed ; in 
Germany the average growth of roots is about eight tons, 
while the sugar yield reaches an average of 10 per cent, 
of the roots. 

The experiments that have been made in France 
lately with the object of improving the growth of beet,, 
both with reference to the kind of seed to be employed, 
and the mode of cultivation, have resulted in showing 
that it is possible to greatly increase the yield of sugar 
in those kinds which already gave large returns of root 
per acre, and increase the yield per acre in those whose 
saccharine produce was the greatest. This question has 
been an absorbing one in the beet-growing countries of 
France ; and the Agricultural Society of the Pas de 
Calais, under its eminent president, the late M. Pilat, 
and its able chemist, M. Pagnoul, has greatly aided in 
furnishing data which may be relied upon. The large 
seed-growers, Messrs. Yilmorin, Andrieux and Co., of 
Paris, and Messrs. Desprez, of La Capelle, have brought 
the experience and care of two or three generations to 
bear upon a subject so important to their interests. 

As regards the method of sowing, it seems decided 
that the closer the roots grow together the greater ^\dll 
be the yield of sugar, and it has now become usual in a 



FLANDERS. 509 

contract for the 2:rowtli of beet to stipulate that tlie rows Beet- 

Suffar. 

of plants shall not exceed sixteen and a half to eighteen 
inches apart, nor the distance between the roots in the 
rows ten inches, so that there shall be at the least eight 
or nine roots to the square yard; that the ploughing 
should be deep, and done as much as possible in the 
autumn ; that no top-dressing of manure shall be used, 
but all the manure be ploughed in; that the leaves 
shall not be removed until the roots are withdrawn, and 
when they are removed, that they shall be broken off, 
not cut. 

There are half a dozen kinds of seeds which are in 
something like general use, but the two most approved of ■<. 
in France are the white Silesian and the red-topped — 
the former, under exceptionally good cultivation, will 
give twenty tons to the acre of roots, yielding 12 to 14 
per cent, of their weight in sugar, and the latter will 
reach a yield of twenty -five tons to the acre, with a 
sugar produce of from 10 to 13 per cent. This red- 
topped beet is in most general use in France ; it is very 
regular in shape, and keeps well. The highest yield 
of sugar per acre has been obtained from this species 
— as much as three and a half tons per acre has been 
verified. 

Yilmorin's improved white beet is the one so largely 
sold in Germany and Eussia ; it has been obtained by 
selection from the Silesian, which, after many genera- 
tions, has now reached the large yield of 15 to 18 per 
cent, of its weight in sugar. This is no great increase 
upon the proportion attained to some years ago, but it 



510 FLANDERS. 

Beet- has been greatly improved in its yield of roots per acre, 
' and from giving eight to ten tons, it now not uncom- 
monly gives sixteen to eighteen' tons. It is to be noted 
also that the juice of this plant is purer than that 
from other sorts. 

Continual care in selection will bring further im- 
provement, and it is a question even now whether the 
improved white Yilmorin would not be as profitable to 
cultivate as the other kinds, though a difierence of seven 
tons to the acre between it and the red-topped is not an 
easy, chasm to bridge over, in a country wdiere the farmers 
look to the purchase of pulp at 12s. per ton as part of 
their advantage in growing beet for the sugar- works. 

Pulp. \^ jg ^|-i^jg abundant supply of feeding-stuif which 
has caused the extension of the manufacture of sugar to 
be regarded with such interest by the general public of 
France. They have seen in it a substitute for the 
turnips of England ; something, indeed, superior to the 
turnips of England ; it means higher cultivation, more 
cattle, more manure, more corn. The quantity of stock 
that can be fatted where beet occupies the usual propor- 
tion of the arable land of a sugar- beet- growing farm, 
which is from one-fourth to one -third, is very large ; all 
animals like the pulp of beet and do well on it. It 
is given at once mixed with chopped straw or chaff, or 
. it is kept in pits, either by itself or mixed, and it keeps 
any length of time ; it is always ready, requires no 
cooking, nor washing, nor cutting up. 

The comparative value of pulp for its fattening pro- 



FLANDERS. 511 

perties is given by Professor Wolff, of the Royal Agricul- Pulp. 
tural Institution at Holienlieini, near Stuttgard, thus : 
Beet-pulp, ir2; grains, 11'6; rape-cake^ 48"1 ; linseed- 
cake, 56*5. Comparing it with rape-cake worth £6 per - 
ton where the experiments were made, pulp should be 
worth 28s. per ton. 

The quantity of pure pulp obtained varies, but it is 
estimated that, weighed from the heap at the time of 
consumption, it amounts to one-half of the gross weight 
of the roots^ — that is, that from a crop of roots of sixteen 
or twenty tons per acre, there will be a supply of pulp 
equal to eight or ten tons, equivalent as cattle-food to from 
three to four tons of hay, which is the yield of a good 
water-meadow, or a field of first-class lucerne. Seven 
pounds and a half of pulp are reckoned as being equal to 
twelve pounds and a half of raw beet ; in some cases the 
yield of pulp amounts to 65 or 70 per cent, of the roots 
consumed. . , 

The beet is almost always grown by contract, the Contracts. 
agreement stipulating that the farmer supplying the 
roots shall receive from the sugar-works a certain pro- 
portion of pulp at a fixed price. The proportion varies 
according to the wants of the farmer, but hardly ever 
exceeds half the weight of the roots; the price also 
varies, ranging fron 8s. to 12s. per ton. Any supply 
required beyond the stipulated amount is to be paid for 
at a higher rate, going up as high sometimes as 18s. per 
ton. The dissatisfaction felt by the manufacturers with 
the yield of sugar is met by dissatisfaction on the part 



512 FLANDERS, 

Contracts, of the farmers with the condition of the pnlp, the im- 
proved processes of manufacture giving a pulp much 
more watery than the old process of hydraulic pressure. 
Eesolutions passed at meetings of manufacturers and of 
growers have resulted in a common understanding that 
in future the price of the roots shall be determined by 
the density of the juice as shown by a saccharometer ; 
but the details as to the points at which the growers 
shall receive a higher price according as the roots show 
a higher quantity of saccharine, or a lower one as they fall 
below a certain point, have not yet been agreed upon 
(May, 1876). The claim of the manufacturer to be 
allowed to take all the roots of a high standard on 
paying the increased rate, and to reject all those of a low 
standard, although the average may be such as would 
compel the acceptance of the delivery, is strongly 
objected to by the farmers, as is also the proposition of 
the manufacturers that the roots should be delivered 
only as they are called for. If this last claim were 
admitted, it would make the sugar manufacturers 
masters of the situation ; because, if it did not suit them 
to make sugar, they might delay calling for deliveries 
until the roots were so spoiled that they could be legally 
rejected as not being sound merchandise. On other 
minor points there are differences, but not such as would 
be difficult to arrange, if an agreement upon the two 
mentioned could be come to, and the most important of 
these two is the one relating to the degrees of density 
of juice at which increase or decrease of price should 
commence. 



FLANDERS. 513 

The duty is charged upon sugar in France accord- Duty, 
ing to the quality, and the quality is judged by the 
colour. There are four categories of charges : it is not 
easy to say what is paid in the total in each, but it 
would probably be nearly right if the payment all round 
were taken to be 27s. per hundredweight. If the pro- 
duce is reckoned on an average to be 16 tons to the 
acre, from which 20 cwt. of sugar is obtained, the 
fiscal charge for sugar alone, falling upon an acre 
of land growing sugar-beet, will amount to £27. It 
is certainly this ; other calculations bring it up to 
£32, which it would be where the yield per acre is 
more than 16 tons, or the produce of sugar more than 
6 per cent., and both these amounts are frequently 
exceeded. 

To this heavy charge must also be added that for the 
spirit distilled from the molasses, of which 10 cwt. are 
obtained from the 16 tons. Each hundredweight yields 
22 pints of spirit, equal to 220 pints, 27^ gallons to the 
acre, the duty on which, at 5s. 6d. per gallon, gives an 
additional amount of quite £7 per acre. All things con- 
sidered, it may be fairly estimated that every acre of 
sugar-beet in France brings in about £40 to the revenue 
of the country, which is more than the cost to the manu- 
facturer, and about half the value of the fee-simple of the 
best land that grows beet. It is quite the full fee-simple 
of much of this land. . ^ 

Any calculation can hardly give the exact result of 
sugar-making from beet, as the produce per acre, the 
yield of saccharine, and the market price of the sugar, 

H H 



514 FLANDERS, 

all fluctuate, but the following is from a competent 
authority : — 

One acre of beet, producing 20 tons at 16s. per ton, 
gives £16 to the grower; these 20 tons yield 24 cwt. of 
sugar, the duty on which, at the rate of 27s. per cwt., is 
£32 8s. ; the same 20 tons will also give molasses, from 
which 33 gallons of spirit are distilled, on which is a 
charge of 5s. 6d. per gallon, making a further amount 
of £9 16s. ; bringing up the total to £41 9s. 6d. This 
is quite distinct from the ordinary charges to which all 
land is subject in France. 

The 24 cwt. of sugar, when made, sells (1875-76), 
without duty, at 24s. 4d. per cwt., giving a gross amount 
of £29 4s. ; the 33 gallons of spirit sell for £8 8s., with- 
out duty; and 4 tons of pulp will make £1 12s. ; the 
total produce of the 20 tons of raw beet amounts thus to 
£39 4s. The cost of the beet is £16 ; coal, labour, and 
other expenses, also £16; making a total cost of £32 
against a selling value of £39 4s. ; leaving an apparent 
profit of £7 4s. to cover risk of bad debts, interest on 
capital, wear and tear of machinery, &c. &c. During 
the last two seasons few, if any, works would come out 
so well. In this calculation, the jdeld from sugar and 
from spirit agrees with the estimate of the general 
average, but that from pulp appears considerably under- 
stated : according to general opinion it should be at 
least double. 



INLANDERS. 



515 



Beetroot is largely used in distillation, directly from i^pirit. 
the root itself, and indirectly from the molasses of the 
sugar-manufafctories ; indeed, two-thirds of the spirit 
made in France is thus obtained, as the following table 
of the production of spirit for the season 1872-73 will 
show : — 



From Wine . . . 
Frtiits . . . 
Grain ... 
Beet ... 
Molasses 
Other substances 



Gallons. 
6,670,202 
1,541,562 
1,994,542 

1,488,850 



32,697,126 



and this is remarkably near the average from 1873 to 
1877; .21,001,970 gallons owe their origin to beetroot, 
which suggests certain misgivings as to the origin of the 
fine old Cognacs imported for English consumption. 

The importation of brandies from France amounts to 
about 5,000,000 gallons yearly, or nearly equal to I of 
the whole of the grape-spirit made in France. This 
latter would be sufficient for our supply, if we could 
trust the statement lately made by a French writer, the 
Marquis de Dampierre, that, *' with very small excep- 
tions, nothing in the way of brandy is drunk at home, 
but the adulterated production of that commerce which 
makes no pretence to an honourable delivery, and which 
frankly owns to seeking its profit more in the quantity 
than the quality of its article," and if we could be sure 
that other countries were content, as France is stated to 



H H 



516 FLANDERS. 

Spirit. ]3g^ with tlie productions of this adulterating commerce. 
It is pretty certain that the latter supposition is not 
true, and also that the statement as to France is greatly 
exaggerated ; so that we must make up our minds that 
an important portion of our " fine Cognacs" owe their 
origin to beetroot, and that we are assisting largely, 
both by the purchase of this spirit and by that of 
French sugar, to extend the cultivation of that bene- 
ficent root which is revolutionising French fanning. 

There are no statistics to show how much land is 
under beet especially devoted to direct distillation. The 
quantity can only be estimated indirectly. The quantity 
of beet-spirit that came under charge in the year ending 
September 30, 1874, was 7,339,508 gallons, an increase 
of nearly one-third over the previous year. The ordinary 
yield of spirit is one gallon for each two hundredweight 
of roots, ten gallons for a ton, which would give a total 
produce of 733,950 tons of roots, which, at twenty tons 
to the acre, would show that nearly 37,000 acres were 
under beet directly devoted to distillation. At sixteen 
■ tons to the acre, the quantity would be nearly 46,000 
acres. The largest of these is probably too low an 
estimate, as beet is grown for distillation in departments 
where the land is of inferior quality to that in those 
departments where sugar-factories are established ; and 
on one large well-managed farm with land of secondar}^ 
quality the yield on an average of six years was only 
eleven tons to the acre. It may be assumed that at this 
time quite 70,000 acres are sown with beet which is 
distilled, and almost wholly by the farmers themselves. 



FLANDERS. 517 

A distillery is now quite an ordinary adjunct to a Spirit. 
French farm in high cultivation, and where one-fourth, 
or even one-third, of the land is under beet every season. 
There were in 1876, 500 distilleries, mostly on farms, 
giving occupation to 29,000 farming workmen. On 
such farms the course is biennial — that is, beet and 
wheat alternately where the land is very good and in 
high condition, or beet and wheat, and then beet and 
barley, where the soil is less good or in less high condi- 
tion. Sometimes a crop of barley follows one of wheat, 
the heavy manuring for the beet sufficing for the two 
following corn-crops. 

The expense of beet- cultivation is very considerable, ^^i^^^^- 

^ 'J tion. 

On well-managed farms, where a maximum of produce 
is realised, the land is subjected to five ploughings and 
ten harro wings. It is rolled four times, horse-hoed 
twice. The plants are hand-picked twice, in addition to 
which there may be other hoeings during the summer, 
according to the season. It is true that all this cultiva- 
tion afiects the land favourably for the succeeding crop, 
or for the two succeeding crops, and therefore all the 
cost should not be charged to the beet ; but it is a very 
considerable outlay for one season, and the growers like 
to see this outlay covered by the produce of the crop for 
which it is primarily intended. 

When so much depends upon the purity of the seed, Beet- 
it may be supposed that great pains are taken to insure 
the obtaining of the sort required, and the chief dealers 
grow themselves the seed they sell. Messrs. Yilmorin, 



518 FLANDERS. 

Seed. Andrieux & Co. have a large farm where the seed is 
collected from the most exceptionally fine roots of the 
various kinds ; but perhaps the largest establishment is 
that of the Messrs. Desprez, of La Capelle, Nord, who 
farm 2,250 acres, of which 1,650 are devoted to beet. 
They employ 350 workmen, have usually 250 head of 
cattle up fatting and 1,000 sheep. They use 3,500 tons 
of beet-pulp, 400 tons of linseed-cake, and £4,000 worth 
of artificial manures. They have a laboratory attached 
to their establishment, and it is probably the most 
important one in Europe for the purpose to which it is 
devoted. 



It is not intended here to give any extended infor- 
mation as to the growth of beet elsewhere than in 
France, but a reference to that of Glermany will be 
interesting for comparison. The fiscal necessity of 
obtaining a large yield of saccharine causes many of 
the German manufacturers to grow their otvti roots, and 
to have large farms attached to their works. In addi- 
tion to what they grow, they have always to purchase 
some ; and they usually find, always indeed, that the 
saccharine from bought roots is less than that yielded 
by those they grow themselves. 
Beet- Mr. Zimmerman, at Salzmunde, cultivates l.:2,500 

Sugar- 
German, acres, which supply two sugar-factories, a distillery, a 

fiour-millj an oil-mill, &c. &c. Messrs. Strauss, near 
Oschersleben, farm 17,500 acres, with two sugar-fac- 
tories, three large distilleries, a flour-mill, &c. In these 
A ast undertakings, which are perfectly well managed, a 



GERMANY. 519 

head of horned stock is kept for every two acres and a Beet iu 
half, and the total farming capital engaged upon each is 
£16 per acre ; if to this sum is added the value of the 
buildings and plant, the sum invested in each can hardly 
amount to less than £400,000. The course of cropping 
is alternate, beetroot with wheat to follow, then beetroot 
and barley, upon the good soils ; potatoes and rye, and 
potatoes and oats, upon the poorer soils. The course 
is biennial for beet and potatoes, quadrennial for each 
kind of corn. 

At the meeting of the sugar association of Germany 
(the ZoUverein), held at Magdeburg in the spring of 
187(), a sum of £5,000 was subscribed to found an 
experimental farm for the production and examination 
of the best sorts of beet to be grown, and the best 
method of farming them, and a yearly sum of £1,000 
was voted for its support. The report of the season 
1874-75 for the ZoUverein shows 333 works in operation, 
using the produce of 240,000 acres, which yielded an 
average of eight tons per acre. Ten and a half hundred- 
weight of roots were used to make one hundredweight 
of sugar ; the proportion of roots grown by the makers 
themselves was 69*2 per cent., of purchased roots 30*8 
per cent. The cost of manufacture, including that of 
the roots, was from 21s. 6d. to 26s. 6d. per hundred- 
weight, and the duty 8s. 6d. per hundredweight. The 
value of this statement, which is taken from the official 
report, is much weakened by the omission of any notice 
of the pulp, which, for anything that appears in the 
report, may have to be deducted from the cost. If it 



520 GERMANY, 

Beet in should be deducted, it would reduce the cost of the 

Germany. 

hundredweight of sugar by 2s. to 3s. ; but as French 
sugar sells at 24s. 4d., allowing for the value of the 
spirit from the molasses, and for that of the pulp, it ma}^ 
be assumed that the cost named, 21s. 6d. to 26s. 6d. per 
cwt., is really that of the sugar, and that the values of 
the spirit and the pulp are both allowed for. 



APPENDIX. 



CENSUS OF 187 7. 

{See page 13.) 
The census of France was taken in 1877 and shqwed the population 
to be 36,905,788; the previous census, taken in 1872, showed 
36,102,921, an increase in the four years of 802,867 ; ujDon this 
Mons. Leroy-Beaulieu remarks : — 

'' Our population is still 6,000,000 below that of Germany, only 
3,500,000 above that of Great Britain, and not 10,000,000 above 
that of Italy. Supposing that all these countries increase at the 
present rate during the remainder of the century, we shall find our- 
selves in the year 1900 with a population of 41,000,000, Germany 
will have 52,000,000 or 53,000,000, England will equal us, and Italy 
will be hardly 5,000,000 or 6,000,000 below us. 

'' Such a prospect as this would be sufficiently satisfactory to us if 
the increase in France, 200,000 per annum, as shown by the last 
census, could be depended upon. We consider that Germany and 
Italy increase too rapidly for the well-being of the people; but we 
are bound to say that this is not to be looked for. The increase of 
800,000 in the four years does not accrue from an excess of births 
over deaths ; in no one of the four years did this excess reach 200,000, 
but it may be estimated as between 130,000 and 140,000. Of this 
increase of 800,000, 250,000 at least, probably 300,000, is due to 
immigration. A considerable number of people from Alsace and 
Lorraine have come over to France since 1872. Immediately after 
our troubles, and before the census of 1872 was taken, a very im- 
portant number of French people left their country and have since 
returned. Without these special circumstances the increase would 
have been only from 500,000 to 550,000 instead of 800,000." 

The increase and decrease are observable in the same districts as 
in the previous census. Well-to-do Normandy loses nearly 19,000 ; 
Brittany gains over 71,000 ; Flanders gains 71,000, and Artois 31,000. 

INCREASE OF WEALTH IN FRANCE. 

{See page 42.) 
In 1826 the value of real property upon which succession duty was 
paid was £53,200,000 ; in 1872 it was £149,600,000. 



522 APPENDIX. 

Securities represented by stocks and shares were £60,000,000 in 
1815 ; in 1875 they were £1,800,000,000. 

AGEICULTURAL WEALTH. 

Since this book was sent to press Mons. Leonce de Lavergne has 
published a fourth edition of his '' Economie Kurale de la Erance," 
and he thus sums up the comparison of the agricultural wealth of 
France in 1877 with what it was about twenty-five years ago. 

" I estimated then the annual yield of wheat at 24,000,000 
quarters, deducting seed ; recent reports to the Government estimate 
it now at 27,500,000 quarters. The increase in the twenty-five years 

4 

which preceded 1851 had been 7,000,000 quarters. In 1850 I esti- 
mated the price to the farmer at £\ 17s. 4d. per quarter ; I think it 
may now be put at £2 2s. 8d. In 1850 the gross money yield would 
reach £44,800,000 ; in 1876, £58,000,000. 

" There has been quite a revolution in the produce of T\dne. In 
1850 a large proportion of our wines were of small value to the 
growers for want of cheap carriage ; since then railways have pene- 
trated almost everywhere, and the price of wine has risen. In 1850 
the produce was less than 900,000,000 gallons, and the price only 
5d. per gallon, giving a return to the grower of about £20,000,000 ; 
it is now over 1,000 millions of gallons, and the price is lOd. per 
gallon, bringing the return in money up to £40,000,000. The 
money produce of wine has doubled. 

" The same result has not been obtained in meat ; the yield is 
liardly larger, but the value is 50 per cent. more. 

" Milk has increased in about the same proportion as wine ; butter 
is also made more largely, especially for export to England. 

" Beetroot has progressed with enormous strides. 

" Taking agricultural progress upon the whole, the £200,000,000 
of twenty-five years ago is now £300,000,000, in spite of the loss of 
Alsace and Lorraine ; but very much of this increase is due to en- 
hanced values, caused in a great degree by improved means of 
transport. In 1859 there were 5,500 miles of railroad opened in 
France, in 1876 the number was 13,600 ; cross-country roads have 
been largely developed." 



AUTHOEITIES CONSULTED. 



" Statistiqiie de la France," 1862, 1871, 1872. 

" Statistiqiie Internationale, 1873." 

" Rapport sur TEnquete Agricole." Par M. de Monny de Mornay, 1868. 

" Enquete sur I'Agricultiire Fran9aise." Par une Reunion de Deputes, 1861. 

" Bulletin de la Societe Centrale d* Agriculture de France." 

" Bulletin de la Societe des Agriculteurs de France." 

" Journal de TAgriculture." Dirige par M. Barral, Secretaire perpetuel de 
la Societe Centrale. 

" Journal d' Agriculture Pratique." Dirige par M. Lecouteux, Secretaire 
de la Societe des Agriculteurs. 

*' L'Echo Agricole." Par MM. LaTcrriere and Yictor Borie. 

" Gazette des Campagnes." Par M. Herve, 

" Journal des Debats." Par Paul Leroy-Beaulieu. 

•' L'Agriculture et I'Enquete." Par Leonce de Lavergne. 

'' Economic rurale de la France." Par Leonce de Lavergne. 

Arthur Young's "Travels in France in 1787, 1788, and 1789." 

French edition of same, translated by M. Lesage, 1860. 

'• Geographic de la France." Par E. Reclus. 

" Geographic des Departements de la France." Par Joanne. 

*' La France Agricole." Par G. Heuze, Membre de la Societe Centrale. 

" Bulletin du Laboratoire Departementale du Finisterre." Par M. Phillipar. 

'•' Stations Agronomiques." Par Mr. Grandeau. 

•' Les Oonsommations de Paris." Par Armand Husson. 

" L'Agriculture du Nord de la France." Par J. A. Barral. 

" Journal de la Societe de TAriege sur le Fromage de Roquefort." 

" Traite sur la Fabrication des Fromages dans le Jura." Par le Dr. Bousson. 

•' Annuaire Ofiiciel des Courses a Trot." 



524 AUTHORITIES CONSULTED. 

*' Note sur rindustrie du Sucre Brut." Par Emile Cartier, 

" Note sur la Destruction des Loups." Par M. d'Esterno. 

*' Catalogue des Arbres Fruitiers de M. Leroy, Angers." 

" Le Hanneton et ses Ravages." Par M. Gustave D. 

" Etudes du Cheval." Par Richard (du Cantal). 

" Cheval Percheron." Par du Hays. 

" Manuel de I'Eleveur de Poulains dans le Perche." Par A. Morin. 

" Le Cheval, I'lne, et le Mulct." Par Lef our. 

"Races Bovines de France." Par le Marquis de Dampierre. 

" Les Moutons." Par A. Sanson. 

" Le Berger." Par E. Menault. 

" Les Choux." Par P. Joigneaux. 

*' Les Insectes Nuisibles." Par Victor Rendu. 



INDEX. 



Alcohol from Beet, 407, 515 

„ from Jerusalem Artichokes, 364 
Anjou, 223 

Anglo-Norman Horses, 169, 175 
Area of France, 5 
Army, Horses for, 74, 83 
Aetois, 457 
Aspect of the Country, 4 

Barley, Area under, and Yield of, 63 

„ in Sarthe, 232 

,, in Beauce, 376 

„ in Bay of Mount St. Michel, 205 
Battues for Wolves, 142 
Beauce, 372 
Bees, 222, 240, 299 
Beetroot, 397, 464, 508, 517 

„ for Sugar, 252, 499 

,, for Spirit, 515 

„ in Germany, 518 

,, Duty on Produce of, 513 
Berri, 271 
bourbonnais, 329 

,, Mineral Springs in, 337 

Brie, 387 
Brittany, 189 
Buckwheat, 60, 202 
Butter, Exportation of, 161 

,, in Normandy, 160 

,, in Brittany, 213 

„ Gournay, 478 
Bull Beef, 497 

Cabbages, 233, 251 

Calcareous Sand, 196 

Calves, 100, 412 

Camellias, 228 

Cattle, Number of, and Breeds, 89 
„ in Normandy, 157 
,, in Brittany, 207 
,, in Anjou and Maine, 237 



Cattle in Poitou (Parthenay), 254 
,, in Berri and Sologne, 298 
„ in Marche, 312 
,, in Limousin, 322 
,, in Le Morvan, 336 
,, in Bourbonnais and Nivernais 

(Charolais), 338 
,, in Gatinais, 362 
,, in Beauce, 384 
,, , in He de France and Brie, 4 L6 
„ in Franche Comte, 431 
,, in Champagne, 448 
,, in Artois and Picardy, 4 75 
,, in Flanders, 494 
,, in England, in 1774, 102 
„ Shorthorn, 91, 97, 99, 159. 209, 

238, 259, 342, 347, 496 
„ Treatment of, 101 

Champagne, 441 

Cheese, Camembert, 164 
,, Brie, 418, 450 

Gruyere, 369, 432 
„ Neufchatel, 479 
,, Roquefort, 105 

Chemical Manures, 380, 398, 409 

Chestnuts, 60, 234, 309, 319 

Cider, 168 

Clergy, 23 

Climate, 58 

Cockchafers, 127 

Common Lands, 33, 103, 305, 430 

Corn, Area under, 60 

Cows, 98, 495 

Division of Estates, 25, 35, 305, 445 

Dogs, Sheep, 112, 408 

Drink, Consumption of, in Flander.s, 492 

Education, 54 

,, Agricultural, 55 

,, in Normandy, 155 



526 



INDEX. 



Education in Brittany, 194 
„ in Anjon, &c., 237 

/, in Poitou, 251 

„ in Berri and Sologne, 288 

„ in Marche, 309 

„ in Limousin, 321 

„ in Bourbonnais and Niver- 

nais, 338 
„ in Gatinais and Beauce, 386 

„ in He de France and Brie, 

396 
„ in Franclie Comte, 428 

„ in Champagne, 447 

,, in Artois and Picardy, 472 

„ in Flanders, 493 

Eggs, 167 

Embankment of Bay of Mount St. 
Michel, 204 

Emigration, Importance of, 47 

Enclosures, 72 

Fairs, 52, 193 
„ Horse, 221, 385 

Farms, Number of, 30 
„ in Beauce, 379 
„ in Brie, 402 
,, in Artois, 467 

Farm-houses, 23, 398 

Fens, 204, 249, 487 

Flanders, 481 

Flax, 470 

Flies, 130 

Flowers, 68 

Forests in Anjou, 225 
,, in Sologne, 275 
.,, Chestnut, in Limousin, 
,, of Orleans, 357 
,, of Fontainebleau, 359 
„ Pine, in the Jura, 423, 437 

Fossils, 196, 230 

Franche Comte, 421 

Frosts, Damage from, 59 

Fruit, 235, 253 

Fruit-trees, 234 

Game, 133, 383 
Game Laws, 138 
Gatinais, 355 
Gorse, 207 

Grapes for Table use, 359 
Grass, 156, 205, 249, 310, 316, 339, 
341, 430, 461, 188 

Hail, Damatifo from, 59 
Horses, 74 



Horses, Algerian, 77 

,, Registration of, 75 

,, Breeding, 77, 87 

„ Studs, 78 

,, Sires, 81 

„ in Prussia, 82 

,, in Austria, 82 

,5 in Hungary, 82 

,, in Russia, 83 

,, Schools for Training, 84 

„ Army, 74, 83 

Shows, 85, 177 

,, Imports and Exports, 87 

,, Exhibition at Vienna, 170 

„ Trotting, 171, 186 

„ Anglo-Norman, 169, 175, 219 

„ English Sires, 174 

„ Dealers in, 85, 176, 122 

„ Percheron, 177, 385 

,, Paris Omnibus, 186 

„ in Normandy, 169 

,, in Brittany, 216 

,, in Anjou, 241 

in Poitou, 263, 267 

„ in Berri and Sologne, 299 

,, in Limousin, 324 

,, in Nivernais, 353 

,, in Beauce, 384 

,, in Artois and Picardy, 477 

Ile de France, 387 

Implements, 68, 204, 400 

Improvement of Land in Brittany, 204 
,, „ in Anjou, 232 

„ ,, in Sologne, 282 

,, ,, in Limousin, 317 

,, „ in Bourbonnais, 

334 
,, „ in Nivernais, 341 

„ ,, in Brie, 400 

„ „ by Beet Cultiva- 

tion, 465 

Jackass, Poitou, 268 
Jerusalem Artichokes, 233, 362 

Labour, Special, 53 

Land, Charges on, 43 

Difficulties of Title to, 36 
Extreme Division of, 35 
in Common, 33, 103, 305, 430 
Number of Owners of, 29 
Rent of, from 1510 to 1856, 277 
Value of, 30, 42, and Appendix 

Limousin, 312 

Lucern, 420 



INDEX. 



527 



Maine, 223 

Manures, Artificial, 374 

,, Calcareous Sand, 196 

„ Chemical, 380, 398, 409 

„ Guano, 397 

,, Human Excrement, 486 

,, Knowledge of Properties of, 

334 
„ Lime and Marl, 282, 397 
„ Sardines, 200 
„ Seaweed, 197 
„ Street Sweepings, 409 

Market Gardens, 64, 413 

Marl, 397 

Marriages, 14, 19 

Marsh Land, 247, 483 

Meat, Produce and Quality of, 92, 350 

Melons, 58, 64 

Metayers, 231, 317, 333, 378 

Mice, 129 

Milk, 97, 215, 365 

Misery of the People in the Fifteenth, 
Sixteenth, and Seventeenth Centu- 
ries, 44, 280 

Mount St. Michel, Embankment of Bay 
of, 204 

Mortgages, 195, 334, 429 

Morvan, Le, 335 

Mules, Poitou, 264 

Mutton, 125 

NiVERNAIS, 329 
NOEMANDT, 151 

Noirmoutiers, Island of, 254 
Noxious Insects, 126 

Oats, 64 

Octroi in Brittany, 194 

Orleans, Forest of, 357 

Oxen, Working, 95, 102, 259, 260 

Parsnips, 206 

Pasture, Eight of Comnjion, 103 

Pats db Caux, 461 

Peasants, 50 

Perche, County of, 177 

Percheron Horses, 177, 384 

PiCAEDY, 457 

Pigs, 222, 261, 312, 326 

Planting, 286, 443 

PoiTOU, 243 

Pond-farming, 283, 438 

Poor Eelief, 48, 491 

Population, 12, 43, and Appendix 
,, Decrease of Rural, 17 

„ in Normandy, 154 



Population in Brittany, 193 

„ in Anjou, 235 

,, in Poitou, 250 

„ in Berri and Sologne, 288 

„ in Marche, 308 

,, in Limousin, 320 

„ in Bourbonnais, 337 

,, in Gatinais and Beauce, 

386 

,, in He de France and 

Brie, 395 
. ,, in Franche Comte, 425 

,, in Champagne, 446 

,, in Artois and Picardy, 472 

„ in Flanders, 488 

Postmen, Eural, 53 
Potatoes, 60, 420 
Poultry, 166, 222, 240 
Property, Power of Disposal of, 28, 31 
Properties of Nobles, 32 

,, of Peasants, 38 

,, of the Church, 31 
Pulp from Beetroot, 510 

,, Jerusalem Artichokes, 365 
Pumpkins, 233 

Eabbits; 137 
Eye, 62, 202 

Saffron, 361 

Sand, Calcareous, 196 

Sardines, 200 

Seaweed, 197 

Seine-et-Marne, 3G0 

Seine-et-Oise, 391 

Sheep, Cheese from Ewes' jMilk, 105 

Decrease of, 103 

in the North, 104, 113 

in the South, 104 

Improvement in, 119, 124 

Leicester, 121, 350, 384 

Merino, 114 

Migration of, 112 

Southdown, 121, 296, 350 

Treatment of, 124 

„ intheSouth,104 

in Normandy, 157 

in Brittany, 124, 212 

in Anjou, 241 

in Poitou, 260 

in Berri and Sologne, 123, 
294 

in Marche, 310 

in Limousin, 322 

in Bourbonnais, 350 

in Beauce, 383 



528 



INDEX. 



Sheep in Brie, 414 

„ in Champagne, 449 

„ in Artois, 468, 473 

,, in Flanders, 498 
Shooting, 134 
Shows, Agricultural, 98 

,, Horse, 85 
Soldiers, Drilling of, 46 

SOLOGNE, 271 

Spirits from Beet, 407, 515 

„ from Jerusalem Artichokes, 
364 
Steam Ploughing, 401 
Sugar from Beet, 499 

Territorial Divisions, 6 
Tobacco, 487 
TouRAiNE, 223, 230 
Tramways, 395 



Trifolium, 293 
Trotting, 171, 186 

Vegetables, 67, 201, 233 
Vendue, 245 
Vineyards, 233, 240 
Vipers, 359 

Walnuts, 234, 254 
Wars, Losses in, 46 

„ of the Fronde, 279 

„ Eeligious, 277 
Weights and Measures, 9 
Wheat, Yield of, 62, 64 
Wild Boars, 131, 147 
Wool, 118 
Wolves, 139 
Workmen's Houses, 490 
Workpeople, 17, 49, 51, 163, 394 



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cojnpleted in Six Volumes.) 

The History of Protestantism. 

By the Rev. J. A. Wylie, LL.D. With upwards of 600 Original 
Illustrations. 1,900 pages, extra crown 4to. Complete in Three 
Vols., cloth, £\ ']'s>. 



The Practical Dictionary of Mechanics. 

Containing 15,000 Drawings of Machinery, Instruments, and Tools 
in use by every Profession and Trade, with Comprehensive and 
Technical Description of each SulDJect. Complete in Three 
Volumes, 2,880 pages, super royal 8vo, cloth, ;^3 3s. 

CasselTs Dictionary of Cookery. 

With Numerous Engravings and Full-page Coloured Plates. 
Containing about 9,000 Recipes. 1,280 pages, royal Svo, cloth, 15s. 



Cassell Petter &> Galpin : Ludgate Hill, London ; Paris y and New York. 

4 



Sekcttons from Cassell Fetter <Sr^ Galpins Volumes {Continued). 



The Races of Mankind. 

A Description of the Characteristics, Manners, and Customs of 
the Principal Varieties of tlie Human Family. By Robert 
Brown, M.A., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.R.G.S. Complete in Four Vols., 
containing upwards of 500 Illustrations. Extra crown 4to, cloth 
gilt, 6s. per Vol. ; or Two Double Vols., £\ is. 



The Countries of the World. 

Containing Graphic Sketches of the various Continents, Islands, 
Rivers, Seas, and Peoples of the Globe, according to the Latest 
Discoveries. By Robert Brown, M.A., Ph.D., F.L.S., F.R.G.S. 
Vol. L, with 1 30 Illustrations and Maps. Extra crown 4to, cloth, 7s.6d. 



The Book of the Horse. 

With Hints on Horsemanship, the Management of the Stable, 
Breeding, Breaking, and Training for the Road, the Park, and 
the Field. By Samuel Sidney. With T^tnty-^iYe fac-si7nile 
Coloured Plates from Original Paintings, and 100 Wood En- 
gravings. Demy 4to, 600 pages, cloth bevelled, gilt edges,. 31s. 6d ; 
half-morocco, £2 2s. 



The Book of Poultry. 

By L. Wright. With Fifty exquisite Coloured Portraits of Prize 
Birds painted from Life, and numerous Wood Engravings. Demy 
4to, 600 pages, cloth, gilt edges, 31s. 6d.; half-morocco, £2 2s. 

The Book of Pigeons. 

By Robert Fulton, assisted by the most Eminent Fanciers. 
Edited and arranged by Lewis Wright. With Fifty life-like 
Coloured Plates, and numerous Engravings on Wood. Demy 4to, 
cloth bevelled, gilt edges, ^i us. 6d. ; half-morocco, gilt edges, 
£^ 2S. 

The Book of Birds. 

Translated from the Text of Dr. Brehm, by Prof. T. Rymer 
Jones, F.R.S, With 400 Wood Engravings, and Forty Coloured 
Plates from Original Designs by F. W. Keyl. Four Vols., 4to, 
cloth, 7s. 6d. ; gilt edges, los. 6d. each. Or Two Vols., cloth, gilt 
edges, ;^i I OS.; half-calf, £2 2s. 

Illustrated Travels. 

A Record of Discovery, Geography, and Adventure. Edited by 
H. W. Bates, Assistant Secretary of the Royal Geographical 
Society. Profusely Illustrated. Complete in Six Vols., royal 4to, 
each containing about 200 Illustrations, cloth 15 s. ; cloth gilt, gilt 
edges, 1 8s. each. {Each Volume is complete in itself) 

Cassell Fetter ^ Galpin : Ludgate Hill, London; Farts j and New York. 

5 



Selections from Cassell Petter &^ Galpiiis Volumes {Continued). 

The National Portrait Gallery. 

Each Volume containing Twenty Portraits, printed in the best 
style of Chromo- Lithography, with accompanying Memoirs, from 
authentic Sources. Demy 4to, 12s. 6d. each. 



Mr. Gladstone. 
Mr. Disraeli. 
Mr. Bright. 
Earl of Derby. 
Archbishop of Canterbury. 
Lord lhief Justice Cock- 
burn. 



Mr. Alfred Tennyson. 
Mr. T. E. Millais. 
Sir Wilfrid Lawson. 
Dean Stanley-' 
Rev. c. h. Spurgeon. 
Mr. Holman Hunt. 
Mr. w. e. forster. 



Lord Lytton. 
Duke of Abercorn. 
Sir Titus salt. 
Lord Selborne. 
Mr. Sims Reeves. 
Duke of Westminster. 
Mr. John Ruskin. 



Lord Pfnzance. 
professor Fawcett, M.P. 
Mr. Robert Browning. 
Sir John Lubbock. 
Bishop of Gloucester and 

Bristol. 
Sir Leopold McClintock. 



Vol. I. contains : — 

Sir Garnet Wolseley. 
Earl of Shaftesbury. 
Eakl Russell. 
Lord Cairns. 
Earl Gran\'ILLe. 
Duke of Cambridge. 
Bishop of Manchester. 

Vol. II. contains : — 

Duke of Sutherland. 
Mr. Samuel Morley. 
Duke of Richmond. 
Marquis of Salisbury. 
Sir Michael Costa. 
HON. Alex. Mackenzie. 
Mr. Gathorne Hardy. 

Vol. III. contains : — 

Lord Houghton. 

Sir William Vernon Har- 

COURT. 

Canon Farrar. 
The Archbishop of York. 
Mr. Samuel Plimsoll. 
professor Huxley. 

Vol. IV. contains : — 

Mr. Chamberlain. 
Mr. Charles Mathews. 
Sir Charles Reed, 
Admiral Rous. 
Cardinal Manning 
Lord Hatherly. 
Sir Joseph Whitworth. 



Sir S. Northcote. 

Mr. John Walter. 

Mr. Thomas Carlyle. 

lord Dufferin. 

Mr. W. H. Smith. 

Rev. w. Morley Punshon. 

Duke of Argyll. 



Bishop of Peterborough. 
Mr. r. a. Cross. 
Sir John A. Macdonald. 
Rev. H. Allon. 
Marquis of Hartington. 
Mr. Robert Lowe. 



Mr. William Chambers. 
Duke of Beaufort. 
Professor tyndall. 
Mr. Santley. 
Baron Rothschild. ' 
Lord Elcho. 
Duleep Singh. 



Sir w. Gull. 
Lord Aberdarp. 
Dr. A'aughan 
Lord Napier. 
Dr. Jas. Martineau. 
Professor Blackih. 
Mr. Froude. 



The World of the Sea. 

Translated from the French of MOQUIN Tandon, by the Rev. 
H. Martyn-Hart, M.A. Illustrated. Cloth, los. 6d. 



Louis Figuier's Popular Scientific Works. 

New a7id Cheaper Editions. Containing all the Original Illustra- 
tions, the Text Revised and Corrected, price 7s. 6d. each : — 

The Human Race. Revised by Robert Wilson. 

Mammalia. Revised by Professor E. Perceval Wright, M.D. 

The World Before the Deluge. Revised by W. H. Bristow, F.R.S. 

The Ocean World. Revised by Prof. E. Perceval Wright, M.D. 

Reptiles and Birds. Revised by Captain Parker Gillmore. 

The Insect World. Revised by Professor Duncan, M.D. , F.R.S. 

The Vegetable World. Revised by an Eminent Botanist. 



Transformations of Insects. 

By P. Martin Duncan, M.D., F.R.S. With 240 highly-finished 
New and Cheaper Editiott. Demy 8vo, cloth, 7s. 6d. 



Engravings. 



Cassell Petter &= Galpin: Ludgate Hilly London j Paris; and New York- 

6 



Selections from Cassell Petter <S^ Galpin^s Volumes {Continued). 



The Dord Gallery. 

Containing 250 of the finest Drawings of Gustave Dore. With 
descriptive Letterpress and Memoir by Edmund Ollier. Small 
folio, One Vol. complete, cloth gilt, ^5 5s.; complete in Two 
Vols., ^5 I OS. ; full-morocco elegant, ^10. 



The Dord Scripture Gallery of Illustration. 

250 Drawings of Scripture Subjects, by Gustave Dore. With 
an Essay, Critical and Historical, on Sacred Art, by Edmund 
Ollier. Complete in Two Vols., cloth extra, ^5 los. ; or Four 
Vols., cloth extra, £6 6s. 

The Dore Bible. 

With 238 Illustrations by Gustave Dore. Small foho, cloth, ^8 ; 
morocco, gilt edges, £ii\ best morocco, gilt edges, ^15. 
Royal 4to Edition. Complete in Two Vols., bound in plain morocco, 
£\ 4s. ; best morocco, ^6 6s. 

Milton's Paradise Lost. 

Illustrated with full-page Drawings by Gustave Dore. New 
Edition^ cloth extra, £1 los. ; full-morocco, gilt, £6 6s. 

Dantes Inferno. 

Illustrated by Gustave Dorie. Crown foho, cloth, £1 los. ; full 
morocco, £(i 6s. 

Dante's Purgatory and Paradise. 

Illustrated by Gustave Dore. Uniform with the Inferno, 
and same price. 

Don Quixote. 

With about 400 Illustrations by Gustave Dore. Royal 4to, 
cloth, £1 los. ; full-morocco, ;^3 los. 

Atala. 

By Chateaubriand. Illustrated by Gustave Dore. New 
Edition. Cloth, ^i is. 

La Fontaine's Fables. 

Illustrated by Gustave Dore. Royal 4to, 840 pp., cloth, /i los. ; 
morocco, ^3 los. 

Royal Quarto Shakespeare. 

Edited by Charles and Mary Cowden Clarke, and contain- 
ing about 600 Illustrations by H. C. SelouS. Printed in new 
large type on royal 4to paper. Complete in Three Vols., cloth 
gilt, gilt edges, ^3 3s.; morocco, £(i 6s. 

Cassell Petter ^ Galpin: Ludgate Hilly London; Paris; and New York. 

7 



Selections f7'om Cassell Petter &s^ Galpin^s Volumes {Continued). 

Shorter English Poems. 

By Professor Henry Morley. Being Vol. I. of Cassell's 
Library of English Literature. Containing the Leading 
Characteristic Shorter Poems of EngHsh Literature, from the EarUest 
Period to the Present Time, with upwards of 200 Illustrations. 
Extra crown 4to, 512 pages, cloth, 12s. 6d. 

Illustrations of English Religion. 

By Professor Henry Morley. Being Vol. II. of " Cassell's 
Library of English Literature." Illustrated throughout with En- 
gravings from original MSS., &c. Ex. crown 4to, cloth, lis. 6d. 

A First Sketch of English Literature. 

By Professor Henry Morley. Crown 8vo, 912 pages, cloth, 7s. 6d. 

Dictionary of English Literature. 

Being a Comprehensive Guide to English Authors and their Works. 
By W. Davenport Adams. 720 pages, extra fcap. 4to, cloth, 15s. 

Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 

Giving the Derivation, Source, or Origin of Common Phrases, 
Allusions, and Words that have a Tale to Tell. By the Rev. 
Dr. Brewer. Demy 8vo, 1,000 pages, cloth, 7s. 6d. 

Art Studies of Home Life. 

With Twenty-four full-page copies, printed by the Woodbury 
process, of Famous Pictures. With descriptive Letterpress. Demy 
4to, cloth gilt, 15 s. 

Sketching from Nature in Water-Colours. 

By Aaron Penley. With Illustrations in Chromo-Lithography, 
after Original Water-Colour Drawings. Super-royal 4to, cloth, 15s. 

Principles of Ornamental Art. 

By F. E. HULME, F.L.S., F.S.A., Art Master in Marlborough 
College. With over 400 Designs. Royal 4to, cloth, 25s. 

Studies in Design. 

For Builders, Architects, Designers, House Decorators, and 
Manufacturers. By Christopher Dresser, Ph.D., F.L.S., &c. 
Consisting of Sixty Original Designs by the Author, accompanied 
by descriptive Letterpress. Demy folio, cloth, ^3 3s. 

%^ CASSELL PETTER & GALPIN'S COMPLETE CATALOGUE, 

eontaining a List 0/ Several Hundred Volutnes, including Bibles and Religious 
Works, Fi?ie Art Volumes, Children's Books, Dictionaries, Educational Works, 

Hand-Books and Guides, History, Natural History, Household and Domestic 
Treatises, Science, Serials, Travels, ^c, ^c, sent post free on application. 



Cassell Petter ^ Galpin : Ludgate Hill, London; Paris; and New Y^rk» 

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